Band: Secret Colours
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Free mp3: “Legends of Love” (’til January 22!)
A bit of fact for today: Secret Colours’ 2010 self-titled release was the first album to get reviewed here on Chicago Tunes.
Back then I was a new guy in a big city, a novice in terms of what I knew about the music scene here and hellbent, even, on crediting cover art images paired with my reviews. Boy, it was a different time.
I’ve skimmed over that review of yore, and I can’t help but notice how poorly written it is. A lot of those early reviews — Chicago Tunes Vintage, we’ll say — were. Like fine wine, though, the hope is my style (and, well, tastes) have improved with age over the year and a half I’ve shared with you.
Despite genuine positivism for Secret Colours the last time I reviewed an album of theirs — that self-titled LP — I think I was so giddy at the time to just get going with this project of mine that I would have dubbed anything thrown at me as awesome. I think this to be true because, namely, it took me a long while to go out and see them play. And then it wasn’t until a more recent show here — January 7 at the Empty Bottle — for me to, as I wrote then, “get them finally.”
I think some transparency was necessary here to further my effort — which began with that Empty Bottle review — to begin things anew with Secret Colours. The ragtag bunch of five guys and a girl have truly outdone themselves with their EP3, and y’all need to scoot over to their Bandcamp and give it a good spin.
What’s so striking about the new five-song collection is how great a departure it is from the LP without undermining the foundations the band laid in 2010. Whereas the Secret Colours of that year coated just about every song with thick layers of haze, rendering much of their work with the fault of sounding too similar the more I listened to it, the Secret Colours on EP3 made a conscious effort, it seems, to inject needed diversity into their rock.
The tunes we get here are their own islands, and that’s great.
I mean, “Faust” storms EP3 out of the gate quickly with what might be the group’s most delicious hook to date. A satisfying mash of big drums, sassy guitar and fog horn moans, “Faust” smacks you with an unrelenting blind rage that will catch the unsuspecteds by surprise. Yet are we to be anything here but bashfully unsuspected? For a few beats, even, the sound drops off completely before that wonderful hook slams in.
Destined to be a crowdpleaser, “Faust” may someday be the kind of anthem “Lava” has been for these guys on the live stage.
My choice pick, though, would be “Legends of Love.” Its steadiness is a reminder of what we got on the self-titled LP, but again, it joyously splits itself from those earlier recordings by not binding to familiar static. At about 2:45 “Legends” takes a small step forward with a sprinkle of funk drums. A subtle shift, sure, but just what this one needed to sustain it through its run time.
- EP3 is up on Bandcamp for $4.95. | Bandcamp
- Watch: “Faust” music video by Secret Colours | YouTube
- I saw Secret Colours perform splendidly with Apteka not too long ago. | Review
- Secret Colours have two shows upcoming: January 25 at Schubas and February 10 at the Empty Bottle. | Schubas Tickets, Empty Bottle Tickets