Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Secret Life of Secret Knives

I feel like I really ought to hand back my ‘Wellington Music Scene Gold Card’.

When a cool-as-f*ck work colleague sent me an email link to the Bandcamp page of an outfit called Secret Knives, she casually noted they were a Wellington band, or quite possibly just one guy masquerading as a fully-fledged band. I’d never heard of Secret Knives. And as someone who fancies himself as a quiet authority on a lot of “local product” I was suitably intrigued, if a little shame faced and feeling sadly out of touch.
I followed the link and was more than a little surprised by what it revealed. Two great “free” downloads – one of an album called Affection from 2010, and a second, even better, four track EP called Black Hole (2012), which contains remix versions of a couple of key tracks found on Affection.
The other surprise is that Secret Knives – a band, not just main man Ash Smith – are hardly an unknown quantity. Well, at least for those-in-the-know! Live gigs have been irregular but usually pretty high profile (Camp A Low Hum and various festival/tour/support slots in recent years, including some overseas trekking).

Black Hole EP
So how come these guys have managed to stay beneath the (wonky) radar for quite so long? … anyway, better late than never and we’re here now, I guess.

Affection is a good listen. It’s mostly guitar-based pop with a psychedelic tinge, a bit shoegazey, and there’s not really a bad moment throughout its 11 tracks. Rather, there’s a lot to savour, with the highlights being ‘Black Hole’ (clip below), ‘The Northwest States’, ‘Elegy/Dreamdisco’, and the title track.

Better still is last year’s EP, Black Hole, with its reworking of ‘Black Hole’ (Glass Vaults Remix) and a truly sublime take on ‘The Shining’ (Signer Remix).

Get the downloads here:

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