Ocean Park Standoff – the band made up of Ethan Thompson, Pete Nappi, and DJ Samantha Ronson – just released their first EP– a self-titled 5-song set from Hollywood Records. The five song on the EP set a good standard for the trio to move forward… if they decide to do so.
What’s to like with Ocean Park Standoff? You should mention Ronson’s work first because she has the reputation. She’s got that for a reason. Her beats have always had their own distinctive flair and they’re in rare form here. Ocean Park Standoff is a great platform for them to be exposed to some new listeners. What she’s doing with Pete Nappi on songs like “Lost Boys” is awesome but what she’s doing in subtle ways on songs like “Good News” and “Tunnel Lights” is equally impressive. Ronson is in fine form here and when you throw in some background vocals on the EP – something she does quite well – then you’ve really got something. Speaking of the vocal though, it’s hard not to mention how much vocalist Ethan Thompson shines on these five songs.
If there’s anything to say that’s negative about this EP it’s that maybe Ocean Park Standoff doesn’t do enough to stand out from other contemporaries in the genre. Their stuff sounds a lot like anything you’re going to hear on Top 40 radio, is that a good thing or a bad thing though? It would have been nice to hear some more experimentation here.
Ocean Park Standoff’s debut EP is worth listening to and it’s worth listening to without knowing Ronson is tied to it. It’s good enough that it doesn’t need intrigue for people to come find it. It’s hard to say what these three will be doing in the future – whether this is something that they plan on doing together for a long time or if it’s a one and done type of thing. Either way it’s provided some fodder for playlists in 2017 and beyond.