I Am the Portuguese Blues by Starflyer 59
By 2004, the Starflyer Motorcycle Club had dropped all pretenses of being a noisy rock outfit, with Leave Here a Stranger and Old channeling Beach Boys more than bloody valentines. Old habits die hard though, as do rediscovered post-Americana demos, and one needs only a single glance at the monochrome cover art to tell which cloth I Am the Portuguese Blues was cut from. It's a record that confused and divided newer SF59 fans, and to this day, holds a reputation as a weird step back for the band, a cock rock detour from greatness. Does it deserve it? At times, other times not.
At first blush, I Am the Portuguese Blues is not exactly a brilliant exhibition of Jason Martin's songwriting ability. Many tracks follow the same general swagger of hawkish guitars and sneered vocals, and some songs, namely "The Big Idea" and "Not Funny", might as well be one track. This doesn't mean they aren't ridiculously catchy, though; songs like "Unlucky" and "Worth of Labor" work as well as a "Blue Collar Love" ever did, and with only one song lasting longer than three minutes, it's Pocket Starflyer. I Am the Portuguese Blues is nobody's favorite Starflyer record, but it's also not trying to be. It's just a pretty good bite-sized rock record from a couple guys up to the task. Worth a listen.