It would be extremely hard to do this review without a single mention of Dance Gavin Dance, Seeing as even though the names are different at heart they are the same band. For those who don't know Secret Band is Dance Gavin Dance minus clean singer jonny Craig. Being formed after kicking previous singer Kurt Travis and before Jonny's reappearence back into the band. Because of Dgd's rather self destructive nature Secret Band was formed to be a backup plan, just in case anything else went awry. Lo and behold, johnny is "sick" so now we can be expecting some more n the form of a Lp before summer, and this is just a little introduction to them. Sound wise it still sounds like Dance Gavin Dance, and honestly that's not a bad thing. Letting Mess and Swan rerally shine on here. But for those of you who think that the cleans were the best part of Dance Gavin Dance, and Mess's screams got on your nerves, then stay far, far away.
As stated this band sounds like Dance Gavin Dance 2.0. guitarist Will Swan still likes to inject Dgd's own flavor of post hardcore with his funky guitar stylings, and by this time in his career he's gotten quite good at it. It's feels more natural than it's ever been and it blends seemlessly with the rest of the music and somehow Mess's screams. The band has also appeared to move on to more funky territory than Downtown Battle Mountain II. This does sound different from Dgd but it's subtle, and it's something that's pretty hard to put your fnger on. The band also incorporate a psuedo-breakdown in the song Stuck and Glued withought making it too forced. But on this Ep Swan really shows how great he can be without shredding, and he is simply put, amazing. Almost everything he plays turns into gold and it a real driving force in their success.
This doesn't mean that he takes attention away from the whole band, especially Mess. He sounds like a beast here, he voice is still as rough as ever, but it doesn't sound as throaty. Even from Dgd's last album where at times sounded almost like a cartoon, it was clear that his voice had some effects on it to make it sound cleaner, and easier to get into. Here there is no such thing, Mess's vocals have improved tenfold from his old Dgd days and you can't help but to feel the passion behind his voice. In usual Mess fashion, he lyrics make no sense whatsoever, but it only adds to the overall charm of his voice and his overall personality. If anything, he proves that your lyrics don't need to be deep or have a ton of meaning behind them to be enjoyable, as he spouts some of the most incomprehenceable lines ever. (Seriously, just read some of them.)
The best song on here is easily Breakfast Time. Matt Mingus's drumming is as spectacular as ever, and Mess says one of his most quotable and memorably lines when he says "it's breakfast time, try to wear your breakfast clothes." in a lmost singing like voice, although not quite. Immediatly after he's back to screaming like a maniac again. Will also plays some of the most memorably guitar lines i have ever heard on this song. The song is a great example of this band at their finest and honestly it's some of the most original and fresh post hardcore to come out in a while.
The only downside is that the bass doesn't really do too much. I mean, yu can hear him through the whole thing practically but he doesn't show off much and he doesn't have any moments, this is especially hurtful because a band like this would benefit greatly from some nice catchy bass lines. That being said too, the song Devil's gospel is probably the least memorable song on here. It opens up with one if the Ep's best guitar riffs and has Mess deliver his lines in a venomous rapid fire succession, but the song goes downhill from there. Mess almost starts singing and the song slows down, and it starts to loose it's fun factor and exciting guitar and vocal delivery that makes all of their songs so great.
Overall if you're into Dance Gavin Dance you should check this out. It doesn't really change up their typical formula very much and why fix something that isn't broken" The band delivers on almost every level, they prove that they can make interesting music without the antithesis to Mess's vocals, they don't need Jonny's crooning voice to make their music pretty. If you're a fan, get it, it's as simple as that.