Secrets Between Sailors – Now Hear This! (Hops Records)


Now, Hear This! [Explicit]

I really liked Secrets Between Sailors’ 2009 self-titled debut album for its combination of big early-’70s hard rock heroics and post-hardcore aggression. The Bloomington, Indiana band was off to a strong start, but Now Hear This!, brings the momentum to a screeching halt. They’ve scaled back the aggressive edge, and taken on a Springsteen/Hold Steady faux working-class vibe, which completely ruins them. The problem with dialing down the volume is that Kyle Burkett’s vocals are left sounding awkward and over-exposed. Worse, Now Hear This!, reminds me of all those faceless bands that had one hit single on alternative radio in the back half of the ’90s, and that’s never a good thing.

Tracklisting:

1. Get Together

2. Lioness

3. The Year Of Plenty

4. Burn Out

5. Hard To Be A Man

6. Bald Is Beautiful

7. The Way You Are

8. Backbreaker

9. Your Voice

10. Tiny Pieces

Secrets Between Sailors – Secrets Between Sailors (Self-Released)


 

The debut album by this Bloomington, Indiana four-piece explores an interesting niche between tuneful classic rock and post-hardcore aggression. The big guitar chords and manic drums seem to come from early-70’s Who records, but the shouty vocals are firmly rooted in the Rollins/Mould/MacKaye tradition. It’s refreshing to hear a group mixing these seemingly divergent styles, and most importantly, doing it well. “Wolves and Thieves” is likely their best song, with tricky Fugazi-esque time signatures and their catchiest vocals, but opener “In The Summertime” rocks hard too. There’s room for improvement though – “Salt Of My Lovers Tears” doesn’t achieve the “Cortez The Killer” vibe it strives for, and the shouted vocals can be abrasive. However, the band’s raw talent and passion comes through enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. There’s plenty of potential to build upon. Add another point for the great cover photo.