Opening with a thirty second barbershop ditty is certainly a bizarre decision from San Diego post-hardcore quartet, Secrets. Perhaps, given the somewhat curious introduction to the band’s third full-length, we are to expect something a touch more ambitious than their previously functional yet hardly groundbreaking releases? The following ten tracks of paint-by-numbers routine swiftly dashes this notion.
As with so many of their sweet ‘n’ savage ilk, Secrets simply do nothing to differentiate themselves from the seemingly endless glut of bands contributing to post-hardcore’s stagnation. Big, cloying choruses and tacked on aggression are served up ad nauseam, and beyond the vaguely infectious likes of ‘I’ll Be Fine’ and ‘Half Alive’, ‘Everything That Got Us Here’ is all too safe and flavourless, a textbook example of why yielding to a tried and tested formula fails without the songwriting suss of the genre’s best. Maximizing the impact of those vocal hooks and breakdowns is key, and Secrets prove time and again to lack the craft.
Wholly unspectacular and ruefully content to plod with a predictability and structural uniformity which saps any replay value, this is a record which just ultimately fails to excite. Reasons to revisit ‘Everything That Got Us Here’ are unfortunately non-existent, and without even the backbone of a successfully banging lead single to fall back on, this is a collection of hum-drum scene fodder which cannot be labeled as anything other than inoffensive yet creatively neutered.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)