Album Review: Porridge Radio - 'Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky'
(Photo Credit: Matilda Hill Jenkins)
Via a press release, Porridge Radio's Dana Margolin noted she contemplated three thematical elements for the band's new album Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky. They were fear, joy, and endlessness. With this record, Margolin kicks the notion that emotions are binary in the teeth. That is, we are either happy or sad, angry or joyful, etc. Margolin posits that we can exist in a sense of feeling of fear and joy simultaneously. That's the crux of what this album is all about.
Porridge Radio is a band that has seemingly gone from relative indie unknowns to media darlings over the course of one album cycle, their 2020 release Every Bad. Porridge Radio are so good at pouring their souls into tracks that just hook you, and this record is no different. As Margolin shouts "I don't want to go back" over frantic melodies on "End of Last Year" you have to believe her. And in a way you feel it too. There are few bands that have the ability to transport you right to where they were in the moment when they wrote a song, Margolin and co. have that ability.
Other areas of highlights of this record are Porridge Radio's playful harmonies and melodies that crack in and out. Few bands have the ability to build to a payoff the way that Porridge Radio does. And boy are those payoff's huge. They're not atmospheric, but rather indie grounded and always with a sense of grit (see "U Can Be Happy If U Want To"). While the band reaches great heights on this one, they also know when to slow it down. My favorite of these moments in particular is the playful dance between guitar and piano on "Flowers". And for those of you that are wondering, yes, they playful hooks that Porridge Radio has become known for are there too, just look at "I Hope She's OK 2". The band also mixes in organ on multiple tracks with more grounded verses that almost make the track feel like a religious experience. Especially when combined with call and response vocals such as what's heard on "Splintered".
Overall, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky is another step forward for one of alt's hottest young acts. They'll be touring for this one in the fall (see dates below), and I'm here for it. It's advised that you catch a show or get a vinyl, because Porridge Radio are very much on the rise.
Rating - 4/5
Porridge Radio Tour Dates:
Tue. Sept. 6 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Wed. Sept. 7 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
Fri. Sept. 9 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
Mon. Sept. 12 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
Tue. Sept. 13 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Thu. Sept. 15 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux
Fri. Sept. 16 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Sat. Sept. 17 - Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
Mon. Sept. 19 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Tue. Sept. 20 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Fri. Sept. 23 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Sat. Sept. 24 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sun. Sept. 25 - Washington, DC @ DC9
Tue. Sept. 27 - Atlanta, GA @ Earl
Wed. Sept. 28 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East
Fri. Sept. 30 - Dallas, TX @ Three Links
Sat. Oct. 1 - Austin, TX @ Parish