Review: Secret Cameras bring back guitar music

Indie outfit drops guitar-led powerhouse EP.


Every few years or so, in a tradition almost as old as guitar itself, the horsemen of the guitar music apocalypse rear their heads to declare the genre as dead. Recently, it’s been looking oddly as if they were right (for once). Fewer new artists have been emerging with guitar-led sounds, instead opting for synthesisers and electronic beats.

But in its hour of need, Secret Cameras has come forward to take a stab at being the genre’s salvation. The indie outfit has been making waves in the past year with rousing singles It Doesn’t Matter and Going Places, so it was only a matter of time until the band dropped a longer release. That moment has finally arrived with the release of the¬†Secret Cameras’ self-titled EP, and the band has held very little back.

Secret Cameras open the EP on a high with the back-to-back pairing of its recent singles, which deliver the first rush of adrenaline so listeners can get it out of their system. With the familiar ground covered, the band seems set on showcasing that it isn’t just a one-sound act and brings the pace down. It’s Never Open is a slow-burning track, which is the band’s first offering of this type in some time. The guitars, while central to the sound, set about creating a semi-ambient atmosphere through spacious swells rather than the high-velocity rushes that we’re used to.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that is unexpected in the remainder of the release. Part of the challenge in delivering a guitar dominated album is that it runs a high risk of becoming very run-of-the-mill. There is only so much variety in guitar sounds, so artists must either resign themselves to a lack of diversity or must push the boundaries of their creativity. Secret Cameras do step in different directions with this release but, by the end of the EP, the six tracks all mentally merge into one and get filed away in wherever the brain keeps track of stadium-indie music.

The band is undoubtedly a talent and its stadium-filling guitar sounds will certainly win over a great many people, however it’s just not enough to stir a fresh excitement in guitar music. The Secret Cameras are by no means Status Quo, but they are also unable to break it. They may be able to but this is not the release to do so.

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