One thing is for certain when you listen to the music of Portland’s Battleme — you are going to rock ‘n’ roll yourself silly in the grooviest way imaginable. They don’t get to the point of making you bang your head, but they do fill their tracks with electric riffs, catchy drums that often growl more than they roar and the sort of memorable choruses that will burrow into your mind and live there for weeks. And the stories and vocals of Battleme’s mastermind, Matt Drenik, will have you thinking you’re on one hell of a trip in more ways than one, so there’s always that to look forward to if that’s your thing.
The hypnotic riffs and off-kilter time sensibilities of the fuzzy rocker “Shoot the Noise, Man” demonstrate Drenik’s ability to get you moving and singing along. “Closer” has the distorted guitars and heavy drums to make it sound like a parody of an REO Speedwagon tune by way of Queen, and it rocks something fierce. The psychedelic flourishes on the boiling rocker “Touch” — to say nothing of the bizarre, morphine-induced dreamscape that is this track’s accompanying video — will get you wondering what Drenik was on when he came up with this idea. And even when Drenik slows things down as he does on the down-tempo shuffler “Doin’ Time in my Head Ain’t Cheap,” or the epic ambient ballad “Lights (ft. The Forest Rangers),” the echoing atmospherics and his even-keel vocals make you feel like you’re taking part in a languid dream.
Whether the song is an energetic one or more easygoing, Drenik succeeds at making you experience something with each song he creates. Sometimes it’s euphoria, other times it might be a healthy dose of paranoia, but you can be sure you’ll be grooving the whole way through.
Battleme plays 9 pm Thursday, Dec. 13, at Sam Bond’s, $5.