After a handful of consistently diverse indie albums that found them directly or tangentially referencing The Beatles, Radiohead and Brian Eno, Portugal. The Man got the call from the big leagues and delivered a world-class major-label debut with 2011’s glam-charged In the Mountain in the Cloud, the group’s first for Atlantic.
The Alaska-raised/Oregon-based band had maintained a steady album-per-year pace until last year, but the theft of its equipment (members eventually recovered most of it) and the subsequent departures of longtime drummer Jason Sechrist and keyboardist Ryan Neighbors (ultimately replaced by Kane Ritchotte and Kyle O’Quin, respectively) conspired to keep P.TM out of the studio.
The band had road-tested new material and was finally ready to get started on a new album in El Paso, Texas, when Atlantic CEO Craig Kallman asked P.TM to fly to New York to meet with producer extraordinaire Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton.
Their combined efforts resulted in Evil Friends, a clattering garage-fueled hybrid of Plastic Ono Band experimentalism and a Black Keys head rush that could be the quintet’s breakthrough album.
Portugal. The Man plays with Skaters 7 p.m. Friday at Bogart's. $20. bogarts.com.