• Justin Tran

Porcelain Hill: Self-Titled, Old School Rock

Typically, old school rock isn’t my go-to music taste. I have a few songs I’ll listen to here and there, but binging some songs isn’t my typical pastime. With that being said, after listening to Porcelain Hill’s new self-titled album, I can definitely say that I do not regret taking the time to do so.

“Old school rock with a new school roll.” That’s the tagline that the band Porcelain Hill goes by. With the release of Porcelain Hill, the tagline does truly embody their music. The nine-track album is packed with guitar solos, catchy drum beats, and intriguing vocals. The album’s tracks reflect the band’s unique sound, with their personalities clearly shining through. Frontman Darnell “Big D” Cole even highlights that the album’s title is reflective of that.

“We chose this to make a statement,” said Big D. “With this album, we're being unapologetically ourselves, sharing our journey, and want the music and the name to speak for itself”.

While I assuredly like certain tracks more than others, the overall album doesn’t have any regrettable tracks. There are quite a few standouts on the album, including “Ride”, “Bass Jumpin’”, and “Going Home (Song For Tony)”. “Ride” has an uber catchy chorus that makes you want to get up, dance, and swing to the rhythm. The track would fit perfectly as a part of a show’s theme song. “Bass Jumpin’” is another standout moment on the album, with sounds I was not expecting to hear. The song is a soothing instrumental track that, to me, was surprisingly one of the best tracks on the album. “Bass Jumpin’” feels like I should be listening to it under a tree on a relaxing, warm, sunny day.

My favorite song on the album by far was the seventh track: “Going Home (Song For Tony)”. Immediately, the song feels raw and intimate. While the song can be touted as unpolished with the lack of extra production, I’d actually argue that the song is further enhanced as a result of the production choice. It oozes passion and emotion, especially in its lyrical content and the meaning behind the song.

“[Tony] was many amazing things: from a traveling musician to a loving father… Unfortunately, Tony was suffering from cancer and it wasn't looking good,” said Big D. “I felt compelled to help the only way I knew how, with music, and wrote the song. I sent it to them and he was able to hear it before he passed. His wife Laura actually flew me out to Nashville, to perform it at his wake.”

For someone who is not typically into their type of music, Porcelain Hill’s self-titled album pleasantly surprised me. The album has a variety of tracks that display the band’s range, from slow, soothing songs, to faster, upbeat ones. Big D has said that, from the start, Porcelain Hill has “always set out to make good music, but also be ourselves and do it our way.” From this self-titled album, Porcelain Hill has fulfilled, and even arguably exceeded, that goal.

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