Having formed less than a year ago, Secrets has already got the production quality and grasp of the genre under its belt. Their first full-length The Ascent is chock full of typically energetic harmonized choruses, breakdowns, and hardcore fury. The thing is about this record is that it isn’t totally on par with other scene-core albums lately- it actually has some character.
Opener “Genesis” serves as the generic programming-filled/breakdown-clustered intro, and it doesn’t take off to ginormous lengths. Thankfully, things immediately change course with “The Oath.” This song has a dominating chorus, and the drums play a big part into making this song so good, courtesy of drummer Joe English. It’s because of an impressive series of drum fills near the bridge that totally took me by surprise. Also, I must admit there are more original moments elsewhere, but for such a young band they are expected to be given a free pass. “Somewhere In Hiding” is a song I was familiar with because of their PureVolume page, and this version is still as good as the original. Great hook, infectious vocals- definitely has the pump-your-fist type of mood.
Quickly bouncing around from more melody and clean vocal-influenced songs (See “Melodies” or “The Best You Can’t Be”), it’s obvious this band has a strong hold on melody (insert song title pun here). Of course, you will find your straight-up monsters of breakdowns and in-your-face raw yells all over the place (See “40 Below” or “Blindside”). Every so often though, the two are combined in mega catchy ways. “You Look Good In Plastic” demonstrates this well, with a strong fuck you attitude. “The Hardest Part” is a jab at a love song, and although nice, it falls short in terms of latch-able hooks to showcase their dynamic. “The Ascent” is one of their best songs in my opinion, and I’m glad it is the closer. It is serious lyrically, talking about losing one’s self to alcohol addiction and then finding strength to fight it (guess I’m not the man I wanna be/the bar’s my only friend, and it’s killing me). It is uplifting, and it’s nice to see that change of pace.
In general, this is an album that is similar to a lot of albums out right now, but shows signs of progression and improvement. Let’s put it this way: the secret’s out. They have ability and on their next record I’m looking forward to a more progressive sound within the crowded genre.