Secret Band
LP2


4.5
superb

Review

by Tranqyl USER (8 Reviews)
April 22nd, 2019 | 202 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I cook the nuggets in the oven, and they taste so good."

There has been a long growing void due to the last three Dance Gavin Dance albums that only grows further apparent the more this album devours me. Tilian brought the security to the bands financial future, but Mess has been tied down below deck barely able to influence the vessel. Matt and Will likewise have fallen into comfortable patterns, yet despite their recent creative stagnancy, they’re all still ridiculously talented musicians. The last Secret Band release proved that the band had the chops for hardcore, but what they’ve given us this time defies genres in the most refreshing sort of way. Diving from mathcore to post-hardcore to alt-rock to hardcore to really… anything they can think of, the crew splatters a canvas with a disturbingly cohesive coat of paint despite how violently every member is veering for dissonance. It all comes together in a creative blend of mastery that leaves the rest of the heavy scene looking dryer than a corpse in the Sahara.

Now, it wouldn’t be Secret Band without Mess’ absurdist gibberish, but despite its usual rhythmic and tonal wit there is a sense of clarity this time around on tracks like No One I Know or Do It Again. I’m unsure whether I’ve begun to develop Dementia or if Jon has begun to make sense while providing some of his most playfully quotable lyrics yet. His voice has grown dramatically as well, and he’s effectively able to scream and sing simultaneously in such ways that put the vast majority of other harsh vocalists to shame. Surprisingly, there’s even a brief bit of clean vocals which effortlessly fit where they ought to.

The instrumentation is hard to classify, but it’s refreshing to see both Matt and Will given the true opportunity to experiment. The first Secret Band release was far more reminiscent of Dance Gavin Dance’s usual groovy sound, just a bit harder, but here they dive around a whole spectrum of speeds and genres in a meaty package that’s decisively more interesting than recent DGD outputs or even most of the -cores in general. Snippets of chaotic math-influence, crushing hardcore, grooving post-hardcore, and even alternative rock riffing finds it way into the mix at surprising yet organic moments. And by no surprise, the production is as balanced and clean as anything Will Swan has been with involved with.

It seems as if both of the Secret Band albums reflect their covers well. The first LP was an experiment in hardcore, and despite how carefree and vicious it was, there were occasionally glimmers of a messy underbelly that didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. This time around the vision has been realized in a much deeper blend that’s every bit as heavy, but infinitely more varied and cohesive. Mess and the gang are sailing on an oozing green ocean with a pirate ship built from absurdist fun, and that’s all that I could personally ask for from this side-project.



Recent reviews by this author
Every Time I Die Low TeensDance Gavin Dance Artificial Selection
The Afterimage EveWhale Bones Island Fire
Greyhaven Empty BlackColetta Mind and Time
user ratings (172)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Get Low
April 22nd 2019


5058 Comments


I'll bump this for you since you were too shy to self-bump.

Tranqyl
April 22nd 2019


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. I don't think I've ever consciously self-bumped before. RIP.

Digging: Forever Losing Sleep - I Lost Myself Again

Get Low
April 22nd 2019


5058 Comments


It's a good idea to do that right after you post a review to bring some attention to it.
Great review, btw.

rc239
April 22nd 2019


252 Comments


honestly jon mess feels so out of place in DGD now, but if he kept making music like this i wouldn't complain

Tranqyl
April 22nd 2019


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad to know you like it, Low.



As for Mess, it's sad but true that he is out of place. Acceptance Speech worked with both Tilian and Mess because it was written w/o giving Tilian much control, but I personally don't think either of have worked well together since. It's a shame too b/c both Jonny and Kurt found a really solid balance. Lately, it just seems that the band is moving much closer to Tilian's poppy inclinations, and the side effect of that being Jon Mess sort of being left creatively by the wayside. At least they're all making bank.

Ashtiel
April 22nd 2019


391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm not quite sure how to process this presently as it's absolutely nasty but i love the bit at 2:20 on "Lightning", chilling stuff. love the energy on this overall though.

Digging: Helms Alee - Noctiluca

deathschool
April 22nd 2019


24175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty hyped to listen to this. Loved the first LP

Digging: Secret Band - LP2

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2019


25244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very good album --- would like to hear more jon mess "clean" vocals on future dgd albums. i like the whole half sung, half screamed thing he does on "lightning"

Digging: Darkest Hour - Deliver Us

JayEnder
April 22nd 2019


3777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No One I Know slaps so unbelievably hard.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir

keza
April 22nd 2019


301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wanna get paid

I wanna get paid

I wanna get paaaaiaiAIAIAIAIAAAID

Matthias812
April 22nd 2019


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That DGD intro couldn't be any fucking more spot on. Exactly my thoughts.



Also, this rules.

Digging: Bethlehem - Lebe Dich Leer

keza
April 22nd 2019


301 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@thespirit yes me too. It shows up sparingly like on On The Run but he really should distorted-sing more, his voice is fantastic.



His DTBM and DTBM II era vox are near unlistenable by comparison w how he's improved

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2019


25244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree he's at peak now, but I really love his vox on DBM I & II. His DBM II vox sound pretty much like they do now, just in a higher register. If you ask me, Deathstar is by far his weakest performance. Sometimes they are near unlistenable for me.

TheWonderSoFar
April 22nd 2019


3972 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like this album would have benefited overall with some sort of vocal variety here and there

Also, am I alone in thinking that the last 2 DGD albums are a bit better than this

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2019


25244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No, I like them more than this too.

Matthias812
April 22nd 2019


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tilian-era DGD has been very underwhelming to me. Only Mothership was worth a damn. Just seems like everyone is cashed out and going through the motions.

Tyler.
April 22nd 2019


16802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not loving this tbh

AgentDeathbat
April 22nd 2019


9884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

secret band secret band secret band secret band secret band SECRET BAND SECRET BAND SECRET BAND secret band secret band secret band secret band secret band secret band SECRET BAND SECRET BAND SECRET BAND SECRET BAND SECRET BAND SECRET BAND did you hear about SECRET BAND SECRET BAND SECRET BAND???



^ this is legit how the discourse has looked to me this album cycle lmao



On another note, this one seems to be getting a lot more hype than usual for Swancore, so color me a tad bit intrigued.

AgentDeathbat
April 22nd 2019


9884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ehhhhhh. It's interesting for sure, but this kind of stuff just doesn't click with me as well as it should.

LOVEANDACCEPTANCE
April 22nd 2019


742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mess sounds fucking INSANE on this



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy