Considering the make up of this musical project, my interest is rather high with several questions bubbling to the surface, mainly concerning what Bad Secrets sounds like. In any event, being made up of Evan Patterson (Young Widows, Breather Resist, Black Cross, and The National Acrobat) and Dan Davis (of Kodan Armada) will certainly turn some heads when Bad Secrets comes up in conversation. In reality, this debut (maybe a one-off record) is really a kind of weird mix of lo-fi garage rock, Young Widows sounding guitars, layered guitar atmospherics that create an almost shoegaze type sound, some Ennio Morricone experiments with the guitar, and dry vocals.
My first and immediate reaction to this record from Bad Secrets is shock and equal measure unimpressed due to its extremely lo-fi nature. But thankfully first impressions are not always lasting, as subsequent record spins show that there is much more to this record than a static sounding recording quality and schizophrenic nature of the music. Bad Secrets is a blink and you miss it type of record, so that works for the duo in two ways: for one its short and sweet nature does not give the recording enough time to grate on the ears, and two, its experimental nature while almost inevitably nixing any hint of cohesiveness does provide quite a bit of sonic variety.
As Gimme Sound (although its sounding like a lo-fi Young Widows b-side, albeit a decent one might be a factor) blares from the speakers, the record offers its first truly strong track where the record seems to rally around and gain steam. The angular guitar riffs and a simple drum arrangement provide a nice accompaniment to Pattersons unique vocal style, and the combined effect is the creation of a stand out track for the duo. The echoing guitars and a drum pattern evoking the early days of rock and roll gives a unique quality to Clean Themselves and sounds like some weird spaghetti western soundtrack mash up with lo-fi garage rock, and it is this strange combination that provides one of the best moments on the record. Another highlight from Bad Secrets would surely be Go and Leave and its layered guitars and driving beat, and while the song is not completely unique, it certainly offers some interesting. The abrupt cutover to Come With Me and its organ and vocal sounds which are spot on to the nature of the track works great.
Though Bad Secrets might not be the greatest album ever, it does give listeners a unique listen if they so choose; I can honestly say that I have never heard its like, and unless Patterson and Davis record another album like it, there probably will never be another of its ilk.
6.9 / 10
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