Review Summary: Quoting line after line trying to start my own crew
For what initially started as a side project, Secret Band have arguably done more for the Dance Gavin Dance legacy than the band themselves. They exclude clean vocalists, instead focusing on the angry squawks of Jon Mess, a vocalisation of the complete insanity conveyed in the dazzling, cascading swathes of guitars that keep both bands rooted in the furious technicality of slick, modern post-hardcore even when more poppy tendencies manifest.
Mess' weirdness has got his less remarkable peers far even when his contributions border on unlistenable (Dance Gavin Dance
). Here he's at his best, and in only four songs delivers the greatest array of lyrics in his career thus far, all while lathering Will Swan's labyrinths of electrifying guitar and Jordan McCoy's slithering basslines in his own brand of bizarre, often disturbing lyrical imagery. More remarkably, Mess' delivery conveys a seriousness that is almost laughable especially when he bellows the line 'I'll never have sex again, I think I'm just too stoned' in 'An Advertisment'.
His wacky lyrics and expertly delivered screams may be at odds, but that is what comes of a man who has been forced to hone his skills to adapt to so many lineup changes in his home band. Here his freedom is greater, and on Secret Band
he delivers the strongest set of songs affiliated with his name.