Sunday, 11 May 2014

SECRET COLOURS - ALBUM REVIEW

Secret Colours - Positive Distractions 
Secret Colours - Positive Distractions

If I told you that Secret Colours were a Chicago four-piece with a guitarist called Mike Novak and a penchant for slathering delay over their guitars, you would be forgiven for thinking these guys formed in the 60s rather than 2009. As it is, the latter is true and how we lucky we are to live in a time when bands like this are taking the old, giving it a twist and making it a better - like a tuned up VW Camper Van. 'City Slicker' opens the album by achieving the authenticity and cool that the Dandy Warhols and Jet never quite managed before 'It Can't Be Simple' takes the organ heavy sound of the 60s, gives it a laid back Hip-Hop beat and creates the kind of tune that would be huge if you whacked it on an advert for an Apple product or a cool beer - say Budweiser, for example. 'Take It Slow' is a blissed out anthem to just chilling the fuck out and 'Monster' is a sinister, shadow-lurker of a song in the vein of Louis XIV or the Zutons at their darkest.

This isn't quite road trip material as albums go as not every track is a storming, pedal to the metal beast but if you're in no particular hurry then tracks like 'Get To The Sun' is a great cruising tune while 'Rotten Summer' is a piano based melody that again mixes retro melodic structures with the kind of beats that Gorillaz did so well with - simple and chilled. And then they bring the funk. Assuming this get's chosen as a single and gets the right push then 'Into You' should be massive in the way Franz Ferdinand were at their peak due to their infectious riffs, singalong lyrics and groove infused beats. 'I Know What You Want' is a classic indie romp in the vein of bands I loved in the 90s like Bennett and Ruth while 'Mrs Bell' is a cheeky little piano based number that could be by the Beatles, Squeeze or Ben Folds which is pretty fine company to be in.

The laid back, too-cool-for-school guitars on 'Heavy & Steady' are complimented beautifully by the smooth organ chords before giving way to the simple but enjoyable bob of 'Quite Like You' which is a Lennon love song with a skiffle influence shining through. The album closes on the title track, 'Positive Distractions', and you get the sense that these guys really enjoyed making this music and will enjoy playing it live which, when you take away the sex, drugs and money is all that really matters when you're in a band. No tour dates online at the moment but I'd definitely keep an eye out for them hitting my home town sometime soon - unlikely in my case as I live in a tiny Cornish village but you get my point.


More information: http://www.secretcolours.com/

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