‘Born Confused’, Porridge Radio
Porridge Radio started making waves from Brighton beach in 2015, and most recently have surfed their unique brand of slacker-indie across the Atlantic. Their riotous 2021 album ‘Every Bad’, and it’s opening track ‘Born Confused’, roars with emotion, swells with synths and cements the star-power that’s fuelled them this far.
They recorded their first album ‘Rice, Pasta and other Fillers’ in a shed and followed it up with five-years of self-organised tours. Six years on, ‘Every Bad’ was released as their debut album under US independent label Secretly Canadian. Their pandemic-dashed US tour with the indie-rock authority Car Seat Headrest, while disappointing, only goes to show their unparalleled brilliance within the genre.
But what exactly is that genre? A splash of luminous lo-fi, a measure of ear-worming pop and a hefty dose of unforgiving post-punk, Porridge Radio are hard to nail down. ‘Born Confused’ sticks to their historically undefinable sound, opening with acoustic strumming reminiscent of nineties Nirvana and the blasé vocals of front woman Dana Margolin – ‘I’m bored to death, let’s argue’.
As the track continues, it merges from melodious indie into melancholic strings reminiscent of The Cranberries’ dream-pop. The smashing percussion of drummer Sam Yardley and trance-like strumming of bass guitarist Maddie Ryall help progress the sound of ‘Born Confused’ one last time into an unquestionably post-punk indignance.
The rest of the song blurrily chants ‘Thank you for leaving me/ Thank you for making me happy’. Whether this is genuine bitter-sweet gratefulness or cutting sarcasm, it’s impossible to tell. Its lyrics progressively overlap, merging with the hypnotic backing vocals of keyboardist Georgie Stott, before being cut off mid-phrase. This final cut, in the midst of grating cries and angry strumming, is a dagger that stabs to the track’s core. With ‘Born Confused’, Porridge Radio does what they do best: navel-gaze and outrage.