Reverb Saved My Life was largely recorded in 1997 and 1998 on a basement 16-track ADAT, when Porter (who sang and played all the instruments) was still a teenager. Considering the youth of the performer, the album is quite impressive in that it's well-played and just as well-recorded as any indie rock release. Musically, though, it's fairly undistinguished moody indie guitar rock, with the sort of breathy moan-drone vocals, ringing guitars, and solemn earnestness that have been a big subsection of indie rock since the 1980s. As a singer and lyricist, Porter is inclined toward the sonically and linguistically obscure material that many such artists favor as well. The worldview is an internal one of withdrawal from a landscape in which futility, loss, and uncertainty is the norm. That's a valid enough viewpoint, perhaps, but not one conveyed here with much originality. Porter does texture the guitars well in both folky and distorted electric fashions, though the melodies are more functional mood enhancers (or mood subduers) than they are attention-grabbers.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger