Portable Sweet Life

Sweet Life tries to capture the passion and fury of Portable’s live performance. The driving riffs lead the dark, brooding, heavy pop sound that seems to complement the sounds of Green Day and Foo Fighter. The threads of punk depression and anxiety are also brought to the forefront in the 12 well-crafted tracks on Secret Life. The explosive rhythm section keeps these songs in the tradition of skin rattling punk bands of days gone by. Add to this the “loser chic” that pervades the lyrics and you have an attractive slice of woe. The first cut, “What’s Wrong,” is an indication of where most of these songs are coming from. The lead singer who goes only by the name Chance (how L.A!) is the band’s singer and lyricist. His wide-ranging and strong vocals add an element of depth that is refreshing in the increasingly bland universe of modern rock. The lyrics are somewhat bleak, yet still manage to avoid the usual prat falls of dreary adolescence that plague this genre. The spirited duet with Berlin singer Terri Nunn is a simple, but wise case in point. Overall, this album places Portable a cut above being “just another band from L.A.” (TVT)