There are arguably few bands emerging in music today who are as fascinating as Port O'Brien. Their music, while not overtly exciting, has some sort of subliminal quality to it that really leaves the listener wanting to hear more. They aren't outrageous, they're not particularly original, and they certainly have yet to mature into full-fledged musicians... but, somehow, they're kind of really great. The mystery ingredient, as those of you who have seen Port O'Brien live will know, is energy. Actually, energy doesn't accurately describe what they've got... perhaps explosive energy? Solar energy? Nuclear energy? You get the idea. Whatever it is, they've got a lot of it. With all this in mind, I think it's hard not to be excited to see where Port O'Brien goes as a band. Perhaps that's why their new single, Close the Lid, is such a tantalizing (albeit small) gift. With just two tracks, it's kind of like a Twinkie (without the calories): delicious, nearly unsatisfying, and highly unlikely to ever decompose. The title track is something fans the band will have heard before on their May 2008 release, All We Could Do Was Sing. It's one of the better ones off the album, if not the best, and certainly makes for a toe-tapping good time. It's the second song, however, that really takes the cake (clearly I have a craving for sugar today). "Dinner Song" is a departure from the southern rock-infused folk music Port O'Brien usually delivers. In fact, there's something vaguely Pixies-esque about it. Perhaps their tour with Black Francis had some effect on their music, or perhaps the roots go deeper. Either way, it's a new direction for the band that really leaves the listener giddy with anticipation for their next album. Luckily for all of you, while you're waiting for said album, you can (and should... actually, MUST) see Port O'Brien live. It's an experience I personally guarantee you will come to cherish and look back on fondly when you are much older and lamer than you are now. Port O'Brien UK Dates: Oct. 21, 2008 - ICA - London Oct. 22, 2008 - University of Sheffield - Sheffield Oct. 23, 2008 - Night and Day - Manchester Oct. 24, 2008 - Brudenell Social Club - Leeds Oct. 25, 2008 - King Tuts - Glasgow