‘What a way to spend a weekend, well some fucking best friend you’ve turned out to be…too readily swallow the same lines, well not this time’
They say that troubled souls make great artists. Both are true of Secret Rivals. Just Fall is their snappy ten track album, funded by fans as part of Pledge Music campaign last year, and is a perfect summary of their sound. From the flickering flux at the start if I Know Something, to Jay’s yearning vocals on Just Fall, this is an album boarding on exorcism. The soundtrack to the moment when you’re gazing into what you thought was concrete and forever and it all starts to fade, yet actions and reactions don’t quite correlate in the way you want them to, as oscillating vocals between Clouds and Jay jump over exploratory fretwork and punky riffs. The guitars and drums clatter and flurry, sonically displaying two emotions simultaneously yet indiscriminately, and the vocal reaction seems to be one that straddles a flashing toothy grin and tears rolling down the cheeks. Feisty as ever, there’s a tinge of vulnerability underneath this rambunctious fury.
Anyone who knows the band will be familiar with the tracks on here, I Know Something, Panic/Don’t Panic, Once More With Heart and Everything I’ve Lost having all been released before. Just Fall sounds like band growing up, a cathartic output. There comes a point when bands evolve and develop, and Secret Rivals seem to be teetering on that edge. ‘These scars show everything I’ve lost’ sings Clouds – and that marks the end of it. A fantastic album, and I hope Secret Rivals take the best of it with them for the future, but now it is time to move on; not fall but fly. Besides, These Are Only Obstacles.
6th April @ The Barfly, Camden, London
11th April @ The Cellar, Oxford
16th April @ Buffalo Bar, Islington, London