[Rating: 3.5 stars]
Even among indie standards, Port O’Brien have maintained a rather reserved buzz since debuting a couple years back. Though they’ve opened for the likes of Bright Eyes and Modest Mouse, this Southern California four piece’s name has hardly spread past the Pacific environs they hail from, making them seem far more like a regional gem rather than the versatile outfit their third LP, Threadbare, proves them to be. Trading off, almost track for track, between Cambria Goodwin’s warm, nearly insouciant vocals and Van Pierszalowski’s sharper delivery, the album never quite tires of the delicate balance it achieves. That’s not to say that certain tracks don’t run too long for the sake of the whole’s momentum, but Port O’Brien never seem unsure of their footing. As a result, Threadbare feels loose and yet conscientiously forward, often doleful and yet never sulky. This is undoubtedly one worth holding onto.