Porter Block: The Gowanus Yacht Club

Porter Block
The Gowanus Yacht Club
(Engine Room)

Written as a love letter to his Brooklyn neighborhood, The Gowanus Yacht Club was a bit of an experiment for Porter Block. For his fourth record, the pop rocker sought the help of 11 diverse song writers to collaborate on the record. The result is a decent enough album with a few good songs, but easily forgettable soon after turning it off. The jangly guitar pop of the opening track, “Youth’s Magic Horn” is one of the better songs. Block’s vocals are pleasant and it’s clear he draws inspiration from pop songsmiths like Fountains of Wayne and Jason Mraz. The problem with this release is it is simply not that challenging. While Black should be applauded for experimenting with a slew of different song writers, the tracks tend to bleed into one another with very few exceptions. (“Your Heart is a Broken Thing” being one of them). With a stronger hand in the editing room, The Gowanus Yacht Club could have been turned into a strong EP, rather than mediocre full-length with a just handful of standout tracks.