PICTORIALS, LOS CHICHARONES, A HAPPY DEATH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Like sunny fall days that grow dark too soon, Pictorials' debut EP, Learning, is glorious and then it's done. At just four songs long, it's the best possible advertisement for the album they damn well better be hard at work making right now. The songwriting is beautiful and the lyrics sound as if they really mean something, but Pictorials are a rock band, and the guitar is the most important part. Guitarist/vocalist Morgan Nicholson sounds a little something like Julian Casablancas, but that may just be a coincidence, because as new as this band is, Pictorials seem to have a fully developed sense of themselves. Pictorials come at the head of a surprising lineup, which features those upbeat multinational rappers the Chicharones and A Happy Death, whose dark, psychedelic stories have cemented them in place as one of my favorite Portland bands. REBECCA WILSON
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