Secret Colours – “Secret Colours”

Album Reviews | Jan 19th, 2011

Record Label: S/R
Genre: Garage/Psychedelic
Band Link:
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The first song sounds so much like Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “Satellite,” it took me a minute to realize it was a different song. Secret Colours taps into BJM’s psych-pop style and vibe so perfectly, they sometimes seem like a cover band. Even the guitar effects and vocal inflections are uncannily similar.

But it’s hard to dislike Chicago’s Secret Colours. For one thing, not many new bands do psychedelic well without sounding like moron hippies with shark-tooth necklaces, talentless kids puttering around in a garage, or heavy-handed, narcissistic studio tinkerers. (The Black Angels are another exception, though they remind me too much of Jefferson Airplane for my taste.) It follows to reason that a neo-psych band would assimilate BJM so as not to suck.

But the main and most important thing is that this album is excellent and perfectly executed. It’s one of those albums where every note sounds perfectly written and placed. Secret Colours succeed utterly at this heady, gauzy, gooey sound, consistently always knowing when to stop, avoiding the trap of drawn-out repetition. Even BJM can’t claim that. Psychedelic tunes under four minutes? Beautiful.

Along with BJM, there’s some Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500, and Chicklet goodness in there, swirled together in a narcotic, feel-good experience with just enough garagey guitar fuzz and strung-out junkie edge.

This neo-psych resurgence in Chicago fascinates me (Panda Riot also hails there). It makes me wonder – where are these bands taking us and how much is the pot there?

Bottom Line: Better and cheaper than heroin.
Notable Tracks: Lava, SOS, Secret of Your Soul, Jellybean, Let It Go, Western, Popstar
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