Portishead – Portishead (Unknown US)

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Reviews

by SQ:  10%  Pressing:  30%  Overall:  20% 

Portishead’s self-titled album is the eponymous second studio album by English band Portishead, released in September 1997.

Riding on the success of their seminal debut album Dummy, Portishead received critical acclaim upon its release. Spin praised the record and noted that the band created a “gothic”, “deadly” and “trippy” atmosphere. Commenting on the textures of the music, music journalist Barry Walters observed that the group got “darker, deeper and more disturbing” in comparison to their previous effort Dummy.

This US release is one of the most hideous jokes United Record Pressing has put on us as the sound quality is ghastly if not the worst!

At my usual listening volume, which is quite high, the first note of Cowboys come through literally ear piercing! Beth Gibbon’s voice was so highly pitched it was hurting my ear drums. I quickly covered my ears and turned down the volume.

The mastering is loud and fatiguing. The overall sound is flat, dull and lifeless. The music is harsh, shrill and strident. This is one of the worst listening experience for me as my ears still ring now listening at much lower volume. This literally an ear bleeding experience!

Unfortunately this latest US release, year unknown, seems to be the only version readily available nowadays. Don’t fall into the trap and avoid this pressing at all cost! Unless you would like to get tinnitus…

Printed in Canada on the back cover.