ALBUM: Secret Band – Secret Band

Release Date: July 31st, 2014
Label: Blue Swan Records
Website: None available
Twitter: None available


As a project essentially consisting of California post-hardcore types Dance Gavin Dance (minus clean vocalist, Tilian Pearson), knowing what to expect from Secret Band may seem somewhat cut and try. Although, by ramping the lunacy dial up a few notches and shelving the dainty chorus hooks, this self-titled debut owes much to the unhinged clamour of the scene’s most erratic, and demonstrates the band taking some deviant liberties with their already left-field flavour.

The performances here are undeniably stellar. Frontman Jon Mess‘ bug-eyed aggression and the pin sharp technicality of the band’s ensemble playing sees tracks such as album highlight ‘Carbon Copy’, itself the most rabid the band has ever sounded, dizzying lessons in mathcore violence, spin on a dime tempo shifts and stop/start rhythmic turbulence the order of the day.

Indeed, for all its guitar acrobatics and structural anomaly, what’s most impressive here is that Secret Band never once breach the line into aimless showboating. ‘Delete The Believer’ manages to deliver some heart stopping vocal refrains amongst its instrumental maelstrom, whereas ‘Wasted Youth’ hurls glimpses of screams along hardcore, jaunty clean funk and metallic riff workouts into a thrillingly cohesive whole.

‘Secret Band’ ultimately offers up that signature Dance Gavin Dance expanse, yet with a liberal dose of fresh experimentation. Free-wheeling and unfettered in its dynamic scope, these songs are as instrumentally gripping, lyrically compelling and downright charismatic as anything previously pulled off by these guys. Knocking out some career best material whilst off the hook from their day job, they sound as if they’re having the time of their lives.

Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)