The Wrens
Secaucus


4.5
superb

Review

by Pheromone USER (14 Reviews)
November 7th, 2016 | 40 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: lived to 35 but died at 17

The Wrens are a band that should require no introduction, but sadly, they do. In my opinion they are one of the finest Indie Rock bands to ever ‘do it’ - and that’s with The Meadowlands alone. Previous to the 2003 opus, there was Secaucus. This sophomore effort from new jersey was the blueprints laid out for the band we love today, it ignored their B-grade Pixies effort ‘Silver’ released 2 years prior, and instead differentiated from this lo-fi doppelgänger-ism. Albeit not a bad effort, Silver felt to be lacking something; it lacked a sense of purpose from a band that was destined to create some of the most original Indie Rock of their time, it lacked character, the Wrens affect. Secaucus however, does not, In fact it packs the notoriously ever-adapting Wrens punch that was found on The Meadowlands and adds some muscle to it.

This prior mentioned 2 year difference meant a lot when it came to perfecting the sound of Secaucus. For the most part The Wrens have taken all of the successful aspects of Silver; The occasional loud-quiet dynamic (Darlin’ Darlin’ has become Surprise, Honeycomb) , the slow minimalistic semi-distorted songs (What’s a Girl has become Jane Fakes a Hug) and evolved them further, adding maturity and melody to the mix. This ability to adapt their sound towards something significantly better than it was is what brought The Wrens from ’simply OK’ on Silver to ‘GOD DAMN’ with Secaucus.

The Wrens are self-aware with what makes a fantastic Indie Rock album, and it appears as if they have worked hard to achieve this; taking influence from prior bands and those praised at the time and wren-ing them to a different entity entirely. Secaucus is the complete package as far as variety goes; there are the songs that burst at the seams with energy, blowing the minds, and speakers, of listeners (Yellow Number Three, Built In Girls), There are songs that take time, start slow, sit with you and then ‘crescendo’ into a euphoric experience (Surprise, Honeycomb, Safe And Comfortable), and as with all my favourite albums - there are songs to wallow in self pity (Won’t Get Too Far, Jane Fakes a Hug). Jane Fakes a hug is a particular highlight and a fantastic taster of things to come in the future of The Wrens, it’s an emotional classic that begs repeat listens to lift it’s full effect. ‘I’ve Made Enough Friends’ is another highlight showing a faster side of The Wrens which is notable throughout the album. The song details a personal one night-stand in The Wrens fashionable way of writing. It’s drunken sing-along indie rock at it’s best, with scruffy guitars and emotionally anthemic vocals to boot. The Wrens do what they do best on Secaucus and that’s exactly that - it’s the tales of life, the trivialities and the break-ups, the mid-life crisis and the growing old. It’s the sound of comfort from people that feel the same as you, only write better

The Wrens are perfectionists; Secaucus holds such a variety of different sounds over a 19 track, 55 minute spectacular. 19 tracks can often be a hard task to swallow, but with a band that has spend over 10 years working on their newest release, The Wrens aren’t the type of band to release anything that they’re unhappy with. It probably won’t go down as a 90s Indie-Rock classic, but that’s a damn shame - Secaucus easily holds it’s own within The Wrens discography, and deserves to be heralded as a classic of the 90s.



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user ratings (50)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Pheromone
November 7th 2016


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Been sitting on this for a long ass time but I was tired of not having a place to express my love for this album so scrapped the crap, polished the good and posted it.



ESSENTIAL FUCKING SONGS ON THIS ALBUM TO LISTEN TO -



I've Made Enough Friends

Surprise, Honeycomb

Safe And Comfortable

Dance The Midwest

Jane Fakes a Hug

all of them, check it.

Sinternet
November 7th 2016


21408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

huh i thought there was already a review of this, guess not



good job though man, album is pretty good but pales in comparison to Meadowlands

Digging: LOFT - and departt from mono games

anatelier
November 7th 2016


3002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've Made Enough Friends is such a great track, nice write up

Digging: Holy Fuck - Deleter

Cygnatti
November 7th 2016


33014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

:]

VaxXi
November 7th 2016


4418 Comments


"huh i thought there was already a review of this, guess not"

There WAS a review, but it was deleted.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2016


14745 Comments


Good review man

Digging: Orbs - Past Life Regression

Pheromone
November 7th 2016


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers fellas. Yeah pots got this on the review challenge (I, ironically?, chose the album for that game) and then RIPPED into it.



But it's a classic, so fuck him

Gyromania
November 7th 2016


29362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent writing. This album is underrated and often overlooked by wrens fans but it contains some very solid material

Pheromone
November 8th 2016


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers bro. Album is definitely overlooked, shows a completely different side of The Wrens

Artuma
November 8th 2016


31386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review, have a pos. currently jamming this and it sounds great



some nitpicks though:



"Indie Rock" - shouldn't be capitalized

"new jersey" - should be capitalized

"...Indie Rock of their time, it lacked character, the Wrens affect. " - the commas there don't read well imo, maybe put the word 'and' there instead of the first comma

to separate album titles from band names from song titles, the general rule is to use italics in album titles and quotation marks in "song titles". this isn't necessary to do but you should be consistent with your formatting not to confuse the reader

Digging: Lye By Mistake - Arrangements for Fulminating Vective

Pheromone
November 8th 2016


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet Art bro thanks a bunch I'll have a little play w my formatting when I get on a computer.

This album just keeps growing, glad ur digging it.

Pheromone
January 4th 2017


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The drums in Surprise, Honeycomb are perfect.



POP THE DOOR I THINK THIS WANDER LUST AINT THE ONLY THING 'TWEEN BOTH OF US

Pheromone
August 21st 2017


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVhtnCNZgAk



Their performance of Indie 500 here is perfect

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2017


14745 Comments


miss u bae

Pheromone
August 22nd 2017


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you've left me lost and alone on sput - it's dark without u

anatelier
August 22nd 2017


3002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

brush your shoulder with an off hand gesture

papudo
February 18th 2018


217 Comments


love I've Made Enough Friends

Pheromone
February 18th 2018


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the greatest wrens songs ever, best band best music

Pheromone
February 27th 2018


7415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

POP THE DOOR I THINK THIS WANDERLUST



edit: funny, I've commented that here before :/

anatelier
February 27th 2018


3002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

brush your shoulder with an off hand gesture



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