Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Secretary Legs, Cool Myths, 2018

Album Review

Back in 2014, I fell in love with brick mower's Teenage Graceland. That record combined call-backs to the guitar-centric indie rock of bands like Pavement or Built To Spill with pop hooks and a lo-fi punk aesthetic into something I found pretty irresistible. Brick Mower's Eric Truchan (drums) and KG Gogan (bass / vocals) have since joined forces with guitarist Dash Coom (The Soft Maybes) to form Secretary Legs. The band just released their debut LP, Cool Myths, via Sniffling Indie Kids.

Recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, Cool Myths, doesn't have the same lo-fi vibe as brick mower; and that works well for Secretary Legs' more power-pop-influenced sound. Opener "Nursing Home" lays all that out right away with Gogan's vocal bolstered by the combination of over-driven guitars, prominent drums, and subtle backing "ooo ooos." After a little squeal of feedback, "Plow the Atlas" punctuates its understated verses with a few moments of volume, Gogan's voice coolly sliding through all of it.

Cool Myths keeps things interesting with some great, quirky sounds that show up throughout the record. The guitar on jittery standout "Windblown and Well Versed" buzzes around Gogan's voice like a mosquito. The hook on "Wheeze" is, truly, one of the best things I've heard so far this year. Instrumental "Kind of You" (with additional guitars by Marissa Paternoster) is a spacey, little jam that I could see being drawn out way beyond its 2-plus minutes in a live setting.

The hits just keep coming. "Bruiser" is a loud, bouncing pop song that immediately does that thing that all great, catchy songs do by making you feel like you've known this song forever. Cool Myths closes with "Your Type," which is like the best 1-minute section of a longer, really good song. A microcosm of the all-killer-no-filler philosophy.

It took me a while to figure out what to say here about Cool Myths other than, "Wow. This is so good," over and over again (which is what I kept saying to myself as I listened). It grabbed me from the first moment that I hit play; and, rather than taking the time to ask how or why, I guess I just went with it.

And that's how strong all the songs are on Cool Myths. You can fall in love with them the moment you hear them; and, on repeated listens, you're rewarded when you notice all of the small details that come together to make these two-minute gems.

Cool Myths is out now on Sniffling Indie Kids.

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