Seemingly bred from the heyday of the genres it embraces with its spellbinding sound and presence, Italian band Secret Sight has brought 2014 one of its unexpected and compelling triumphs in the dramatic lure of Day.Night.Life. Brewing up a starkly haunting and rigorously riveting blend of post punk and gothic rock, band and album is one of those finds which you hope for but rarely get over the course of a year, an encounter which connects with primal instincts and personal passion with a recognisable sound explored and twisted into a new distinct adventure. There is plenty to intrigue and ignites ears of those without a post punk/gothic bent to their preferences though, incendiary melodies and rhythmic tenacity as prevalent as the core sound driving the release. It is a tremendous proposition and one to put the band in a firmly attentive spotlight.
Emerging from the ‘ashes’ of the members previous band which released a self-produced EP and played several gigs around Italy, Secret Sight was formed earlier this year and took little time to start working on their first release and debut Day.Night.Life. Consisting of vocalist Matt Schipsi, guitarist Cristiano Poli, bassist Lucio Cristino, and drummer Enrico Bartolini, the Ancona quartet linked up with Paolo Rossi to record the album at Studio Waves in Pesaro. Released on Red Cat Records it is fair to say that as young as Secret Sight is as a band, there is an experience and maturity which shines from obviously the member’s previous endeavours within what is a quite striking introduction to the band.
The release opens with Conquest and instantly has ears and appetite tight in its grasp as the bass of Cristino sets a dark and flavoursome coaxing in motion from within a subdued sonic squall around thumping rhythms from Bartolini. It is an irresistible lure reminiscent of Leitmotiv and Joy Division, especially once the drama of the guitars and throaty tones of Schipsi join the infectious aural narrative. With a voice somewhere between Ian Curtis and Nick Cave, the frontman is a captivating shadow to the feisty but dark beauty coating the virulent energy and hook littered grooves of the song. It is a tremendous start to the album, and early pinnacle swiftly matched by Earth Overflows. With new wave seeded melodies flirting with the cold steely glare of bass amidst the song’s chilled atmosphere, it is a captivating and eagerly striding encounter. Every element of band and song casts a contagious hex without defusing the haunting resonance and cavernous emotion of the mouth-watering proposition. It many ways the track is like Interpol meets Bauhaus or maybe more so Tones on Tail, a web of scintillating sonic grooves and virulent rhythms entwined with a cold post punk voracity.
The pair of Under This Truth and Life keeps the exceptional charge and majesty of the album going, the first another melodic flirtation with a She Wants Revenge like vivacity and catchiness but exploring a heavier and imposing landscape than its predecessors. Again it is hard to ignore the pleasing Joy Division whispers but also there is a Play Dead and Public Image Ltd spicery, though it should be reinforced that despite the references Secret Sight weaves a sound which is familiar yet openly fresh and uniquely gripping. The second of the two takes a slower gait to its entrance, punchy rhythms from Bartolini leading the imagination into the waiting web of bass and guitar temptation. Though beats make a forceful energetic stride, sonically the track is a more reserved wash but no less inciting in the intriguing melodic and caustic designs of Poli and the pungent ensnaring lures spawned by Cristino.
The bassist again springs the first seduction of Indelible, an enticing swiftly enhanced and fuelled by the grooves and hooks spicing up the exceptional track. Schipsi stands powerfully over the brewing contagion of the song with his raw and starkly emotive tones but it is the bass bait and acidic strands of guitar ingenuity which sets the biggest fire. As in all the songs there is a cinematic drama which is as equally persuasive and engrossing, the following Need an instant example at this point, its noir cloaked almost sinister breath and intrigue a delicious spark for ears, feet, and imagination.
The album is completed by the similarly visually suggestive Long Line and the slightly Sister of Mercy-esque If You Turn, both songs resourcefully provocative and elegantly structured within their roaming lyrical and sonic shadows. The first has a sultry twang to its climatic presence and voice whilst the closing song ebbs and flows with intensity and energy as its masterful soundscape explores the corners and depths of dark emotions and melodic intimacy. It is arguably the most involved and exploratory track on the album and just as irresistible and explosive as those before it.
Day.Night.Life is a must for all post punk/gothic rock fans, and for us a definite favourite of 2014. There is little more to say than just go treat yourselves.
Day.Night.Life is available now from Red Cat Records @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Night-Life-Secret-Sight/dp/B00NODLP1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412691294&sr=8-1&keywords=Day.Night.Life+Secret+Sight
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