Bad Copy

The Newports
Record Review

The Newports – That’s Fine

Not just a minty cigarette or a city in Orange County anymore!

The Newports

That's Fine

October 20, 2017

I was taken to a “show” in Los Angeles one day a few years back. A couple of my friends had started a new band and invited some folks over to watch them play. We rolled up to a garage in an apartment complex and saw a bunch of people hanging out and drinking beers from a kiddie pool filled with ice. Someone had a pitcher full of a very boozy mixed drink. It was so fucking weird, and so fucking L.A. As I tried to get drunk enough to be not weird in the company of mostly strangers, the band played at full volume three feet away over a shitty PA. This was my introduction to The Newports.

Since that day in L.A., The Newports have gone through some changes. A soft reboot of sorts. But through the ups and downs, The Newports carried on and have finally released their first EP. I always get nervous when I say I’ll review a friend’s album. What if I fucking hate it? Could we still be friends? Could I write a brutally honest review or would I have to fake a smile and say through gritted teeth, “Nah dawg. It’s super good, for sure”? This is where my mind always goes with these things. The good news is I don’t have to worry about that this time. This shit is actually tight.

That’s Fine made me nervous at first, thoughThe opening riff of “Off With My Head” is very Blink-182, and had me immediately rolling my eyes. I’ve been burned by past friend’s bands. “Oh god, it’s another fucking copy of Dude Ranch.” But once the vocals from Dani Jamieson kicks in though, it’s everything but that. Also, after a couple more listens, maybe it’s more of a homage to the band where The Newports got their name from, Not Half Bad. Whatever, sounds like Blink to me.

“Visions” is what hooked me, fast and aggressive, it shows off Dani’s vocal abilities going easily from snotty punk to crooning, clean-singing and back to harsh shouting with ease. Speaking of yelling, there’s “Punching Bag,” a song that ditches the pop-punk and comes across a little more on the hardcore spectrum. From the twangy opening bass to the killer last third ripping guitar solo, between this and the previous poppier track “Follow Me,” The Newports don’t seem content to stay in one lane. The last track, “Sign Below,” is the only holdover from the beginning days of the band, but is punched up by the newer members and fits right in with the rest of this EP, Steel Dragon style.

Despite me being pretty damn sure this is the second EP The Newports have released, this is a solid first entry into The Newports (hopefully) long life. With any luck this is the lineup that will stick, because honestly, it’s the best I have seen/heard them so far.

A fistful of Arugula out of a bag to cure heartburn. That’s my rating. Figure it out.

This has been an album review.

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