Secret Band
Secret Band


4.0
excellent

Review

by Daniel Davis USER (35 Reviews)
August 5th, 2014 | 55 replies


Release Date: 07/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Secret Band is a side project that flawlessly performs its purpose.

As far as side projects go, Secret Band is about as straightforward as they come - founded when its parent group was in between vocalists, it consists of most of the members of the Sacramento, CA based progressive post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance, minus lead singer Tilian Pearson. Given that their main band is known for the talent of the "clean" vocalists they enlist, Secret Band is their opportunity to prove that their frantic brand of guitar spasms and fast paced screams doesn't have to be grounded in any catchy choruses to work. And sure enough, it does, staying fresh by introducing much heavier elements while retaining all of the fancy guitarwork that makes DGD so interesting.

Considering how much of the spotlight vocalist Jon Mess got in Acceptance Speech, it's no surprise he's ready for the much larger role he plays on this release. He's almost unrecognizable from the scratchy, annoying voice he gave us on DGD's self-titled record, and though his vocals are monotone in delivery, he keeps the dynamic interesting with the sheer force he ejects his words with. In the past he's always focused on being playful over being intense, and it's appropriate that with the heavier tone here his vocals have switched gears to fit the mood.

Musically, the album veers between atonal madness and fleeting moments of melody. "Meat Fetish" and "Ladders" are Will Swan's interpretations of what modern hardcore should sound like, complete with plenty of crushing, honest-to-god breakdowns. "Delete the Believer" and "High Five" could have easily been (and maybe at some point were) DGD songs, with complex guitar melodies and constant shifts in intensity. Most of the songs here follow a combination of the two approaches. Each of them seems like a different answer to the question "What would DGD sound like if they were heavier?". The fact that all of the songs are unique but all seem to singularly embody that premise of the band is perhaps the greatest triumph of the album.

Without any singing or choruses, Secret Band doesn't have the accessibility that Dance Gavin Dance possesses, and its complexity-to-melody ratio means that it's not really as catchy or memorable as its parent band, either. But it was created to bring the aggressive and experimental aspects of DGD that have developed over the years to the center of the stage, and it does so tightly, interestingly, and dare I say, sexily.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
August 5th 2014


502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really hope this review makes sense for people who haven't heard of DGD before, because it's almost impossible for me to discuss the sound of this without relying on the main band a lot for comparison

Great album, though

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mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 5th 2014


13338 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

fuck yea pos

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

adr
August 5th 2014


2848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rules

Digging: Horrendous - Ecdysis

thelastsignal
August 5th 2014


1370 Comments


Awesome review, man. I need to hear this soon.

Betray
August 5th 2014


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Secret Band doesn't have the accessibility that Dance Gavin Dance possesses, and its complexity-to-melody ratio means that it's not really as catchy or memorable as its parent band, either. But it was created to bring the aggressive and experimental aspects of DGD that have developed over the years to the center of the stage"

pos'd hard

Digging: Between the Buried and Me - Between the Buried and Me

Calc
August 5th 2014


12249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"and though his vocals are monotone in delivery, he keeps the dynamic interesting with the sheer force he ejects his words with."

completely disagree but dece review on the whole homie

Digging: Milo - A Toothpaste Suburb

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 5th 2014


13338 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

ya i disagree with that

OwMySnauze
August 5th 2014


1062 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great write up.

ssj4gogeta17
August 5th 2014


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Classifying humans depending on size of ass
Ass 3x Ass 1x Ass 4x Ass 2x Ass 2x Ass 6x"

God I love Jon Mess

MalleusMaleficarum
August 5th 2014


14350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

his vox have def improved but im not in the club of kidz who adore his lyrics lol

Mall
August 5th 2014


1075 Comments


His vocals are a lot better here yeah, but it's just such a boring listen

MalleusMaleficarum
August 5th 2014


14350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ive only listened like 2-3 times so it hasnt had time to become redundant tbh

Azn.
August 5th 2014


5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

don't understand the hype tbh

also mess on s/t was mess at his most enjoyable and ungeneric

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

trackbytrackreviews
August 5th 2014


1340 Comments


What's that cover supposed to be

beachdude
August 5th 2014


272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is this better than their EP? Because I enjoyed that but it's not something I'd listen to often.

Digging: Brand New - Fight Off Your Demons (The Demos)

Azn.
August 5th 2014


5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's less enjoyable than the EP in my opinion

the content itself gets grating over a longer runtime and it doesn't contain as many good lines and riffz

Wadlez
August 5th 2014


4234 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

S'alright.

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beachdude
August 5th 2014


272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmm yeah I was uncertain of whether 32 minutes of nothing but Mess would be enjoyable honestly... will definitely give this a listen though.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 5th 2014


13338 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

yall cray

Mort.
August 5th 2014


3757 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

shits tight, bumped to a 5



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