Secret Towns is Luke Thornton (vocals/guitar), Matt Petino (guitar), Sam Pena (bass) and Harry Dulaney (drums). The band has only been around for about a year but already managed to release a three-song EP entitled Small Hours. They make some comparisons to bands like Yo La Tengo, Warpaint, Interpol, Real Estate and Grouper. I was a little surprised they didn’t mention the band Clientele because they were the first band that popped into my head - in particular their 2005 release Strange Geometry.
The first song is entitled “Secret Towns” and you immediately hear clean guitars and reverb which gives it the aesthetic that the band Real Estate made ubiquitous. It’s fairly straightforward but well performed as the band creates a warm atmosphere with the music.
They continue with “Hand in Hand’ which is a solid song as well and really deliver into a night time fog type of feel. “Suburban Fog” felt like the highlight. There are hints of post-rock with this song in the spirit of early Explosions in the Sky. I really liked how the drummer dictated the pace of the song.
I remember a couple of years after the band Real Estate released their eponymous album there was a wave of bands that sounded very similar. My only critique for the band is to be aware of that. Since they are so newly formed they haven’t had much time to really discover a signature or singular sound which from my work as a producer over the last twenty years typically happens with a band around two years in, if they find it at all.
The thing I really liked about these songs were how cohesive the experience was. There were only three songs but it felt seamless and if you have read my reviews before you know that is one of the things I look for.
Overall, this was a solid first release from a band with potential. I look forward to hearing more as they evolve.
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