Though “grunge” may be dead (was it ever “alive?” — I mean, most of that dubiousness either fell under punk or metal, straight up; not like anyone really cares anymore…), its cheater slicks still stain the commercial rock toilet bowl, even many years later. Case in point: Portable’s debut album, Secret Life . Not a bad record, certainly not a good one, Secret Life wholly lacks character or distinction other than Portable being a near-browbeatingly “emotional” Foo Fighters counterpart, the sort of “character” or “distinction” that’s all too common in these post-Nirvana times. In that, I guess, there is some merit — after all, the Fighters do need opening bands — but the fact of the matter remains: Whether you might dig the album, wait a few years down the line to buy it, because records like Secret Life will be literally littering the budget/cut-out bins.
TVT Records, 23 East 4th St., Third Floor, New York, NY 10003; http:www.tvtrecords.com