Do you enjoy the musical stylings of Jimmy Eat World, Biffy Clyro and Modern Baseball? If so, then I have a treat to share with you today. The debut album by Edinburgh band Last Wild Lion, They’re Not Secrets Anymore, is here. Let’s take a walk with the pride.
The first track to really grab my attention was ‘Drive’. Album opener ‘Secrets With The Moon’ initially sort of passed me by, but more on that later. ‘Drive’ is where those aforementioned Jimmy Eat World vibes jump into your ears on the first listen. But the more you pay attention, the more you hear Last Wild Lion pulling on many different 90’s emo threads. I’m pretty impressed. To make those diverse sounds come together without sounding painfully disjointed isn’t easy, and the Edinburgh quintet have pulled it off.
Where ‘Drive’ is nostalgic, ‘This Is Everything’ leaps forward to the modern day emo scene. Think Basement or Modern Baseball: simple verses which stick to their function and expansive choruses which really let the track breathe and drive the song forward.
Speaking of breathing, ‘Room To Breathe’ is a cracker. It follows that classic alt-rock formula of quiet, quiet quiet, build, loud, loud, loud! And why not? The formula works so damn well, I never get bored of it. For me, the gentle opening minutes tied nicely to the album’s first track, ‘Secrets With The Moon’, giving it a partner and some musical context almost. Even though there are two raucous songs between them, they play off each other very nicely in my mind.
The latter half of the album features ‘Worse At Night’ a duet between husband/wife vocalist/guitarist Sarah and Jamie. Objectively, it’s a very nice duet, but such is the contrast between ‘Worse At Night’ and the rest of They’re Not Secrets Anymore stylistically, that the song really sticks out like a sore thumb.
The album comes to a close with ‘Miracles’. Here we get a little bit of an Idlewild vibe – perhaps Rod Jones (whose studio the band recorded in) sprinkling his magic dust over the track?
I have to say I’m pretty satisfied with this album. Are there areas for improvement? Sure. If it’s possible, Sarah’s singing is almost too clean and polished at times; I’d like to hear her let loose and leave her vocals a little rough around the edges. And with half the songs clocking in at over four minutes, you could argue the album drags a little towards the end. But there’s passion here; belief in what the band are aiming for alongside some very accomplished writing and performing, and that can only be applauded.
Sounds Like… Jimmy Eat World reborn