For Fans Of
Hype is fucked. There’s so many albums I would probably have liked if it wasn’t for a million stupid idiots getting in my ear about how good they were. Shit gets talked up so much that by the time you get to sit down and listen, there’s absolutely no way it could be as good as you were expecting. Either that or you actively force yourself to hate it for the sake of proving people wrong. But maybe that’s just me. I’m kind of a burnout….
Anyway, taking all this into account, when A Secret Death dropped this one I totally panicked. Unless you live under a rock in Sydney you’ve undoubtedly at very least heard of these guys if not experienced them for yourself in some form. You’ll also know that everywhere they go they trail behind them a slew of enamoured fans, old and new, more than willing to punish anyone who’ll listen with nothing but praise for a band who, let’s face it, completely deserve every good word said about them.
But approaching this debut full length from a critical standpoint still worried me. Would I fall into my own stubborn hysteria-hating trap? Could this record possibly be as good as I’m constantly told it will be? Could ANYTHING be that good?
The answers are no, yes and yes respectively. This fucker totally blew my mind.
Opening the scene with Dawn; a short, no bullshit intro, Gloom With A View soon pounds in, droning and hypnotic at first before blasting through in double time and obliterating pretty much everything in the world. I’ll just note that at this point we’re about two minutes into the album, in September, and I’ve already decided this is the album of the year, I’m a hypocrite.
From here we move seamlessly into the upbeat Peyote Ugly without so much as a gap between tracks and it’s completely obvious this band is not only making music that sounds exactly how they want it, but having the time of their lives doing it.
Every note of every bar sits perfectly in its place and the energy never dips once, and shit, they even make breakdowns good, and breakdowns are seriously the gayest thing ever. Yeah I went there.
This is also undoubtedly the best vocal production I’ve heard on a CD in a long while. It’s a strange thing to say I know, but throatman Nathan manages to come through loud and clear, without any stupid overproduction ruining the attitude spat out with each word in the heavier parts of songs like Cowboy In Reverse, or being washed out in the sombre melodies of more epic numbers such as Depressed For Success. The temptation is to go through this entire disc track by track and flood you all with every detail of every song and shamelessly become everything I hate, but you’re honestly better off just hearing it for yourself, because all jokes aside, it’s a masterpiece.
It’s good to see an album live up to the hype once in a while. It’s even better to see it happen for a homegrown band like ASD who not only surpass your hopes, but are a thousand times better than you could have imagined.
The only reason these guys didn’t get 100/100 is because I’m super fucking jealous that I’ll never be in a band this good. No Shit.
2. Gloom With A View
3. Peyote Ugly
4. Invitation…To A Party
5. Cowboy In Reverse
6. Sticks And Stones
7. Far From The Tree
9. Batter Reality
10. Cowboy Revisited
11. Depressed For Success
12. The Eternal Blink