LabelTooth And Nail
Tracklist1. Youth Cats
2. Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)
3. Bedroom Galaxy
4. Tiny Sparkle
5. Famous for a Century
6. Edge of Wilderness
7. Pretty Snarl
8. Star Blankets
10. Whale Bones
11. Silver Mountain
Your RatingCreate an account or log in to rate this album
Secret and Whisper formed from the ashes of Stutterfly and The Bleeding Alarm back in 2007 and released their debut, Great White Whale, shortly afterwards. The album turned heads and took many people by surprise; two years later, the band is back again in hopes of earning the same kind of positive recognition for their sophomore effort Teenage Fantasy.
First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room by noting that, yes, Secret and Whisper have completely ripped off Saosin’s style, from the dueling guitar leads, to the aggressive drumming, and even the high pitched vocals. That being said, they do a damn good job of mimicking a band that many others have tried to copy but ended up failing miserably doing so.
What makes Secret and Whisper stand out from the rest of the pack is the mastery of their instruments. The guitars are technical, with blazing fast melodies, but the slower, more melodic moments are just as memorable and well done. Percussion wise, Ryan Loerke is one of the more interesting rock drummers you’ll hear. He effortlessly ties together his impressive beats with even more impressive fills that successfully complement the guitars. Additionally, Jordan Chase’s bass lines aren’t groundbreaking, but they provide a nice, heavy filler while the rest of the band goes to town.
As the for the vocals, Charles Furney’s style is an acquired taste and will probably either make or break Teenage Fantasy for many people. It took a few listens to get used to Furney’s voice, mainly because he doesn’t really follow any of the guitar melodies and just does his own thing throughout the album. It’s a risky vocal approach that pays off sometimes, while falls flat at others. Overall, though, Furney makes it work and it’s hard to picture anyone else doing a better job singing over the music.
Teenage Fantasy has some stellar moments with standout tracks like “Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)” with its crushing choruses and “Famous for a Century” where Furney belts out his lyrics over infectious guitar melodies throughout the entire song. But for all the great moments, there are just as many where the album is lacking. In the opening track, “Youth Cats,” Furney sounds like he’s trying to catch up to the rest of the music throughout the song, which becomes disorienting at times. Also, the vocals are extremely grating on “Edge of Wilderness" to the point where the track is almost unlistenable. Moreover, the last few tracks aren’t nearly as strong as the earlier ones; it’s not that they’re horrible songs, but they basically use the same formula as the rest so it starts to get old as the album progresses.
Secret and Whisper have another winner on their hands with Teenage Fantasy. While some of the songs don’t live up to the band’s potential, there are plenty of other tracks that well exceed what the band has written in the past. Plus, the music and vocals create an interesting dynamic, so that alone merits giving this album a listen.