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Secrets Are Sinister

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Album Review

With only a few hints left of their artsy shoegazer-inspired past, Secrets Are Sinister sees Longwave continuing in the U2 by way of Snow Patrol vein of 2005's There's a Fire and aiming directly for radio acceptance, this time without major label backing. This seeming grab for commercial acceptance may be paying off, as "The Devil and the Liar"'s shimmering instrumental opening soundtracks a Lubriderm commercial. Musically, the song is a dead ringer for their peers Rogue Wave and likewise owes quite a debt to Death Cab for Cutie. It's good that there are frequent tonal shifts between tracks, between moody rockers and melancholic ballads, but the influences on display are obvious, particularly when the results feel like above-average knockoffs of Gary Lightbody's Snow Patrol juggernaut. Secrets Are Sinister is well crafted, and producer Peter Katis does provide some great dynamics. There's also occasional emotional pull when vocalist Steve Schiltz — who seems to be doing his best hybridization of Interpol's Paul Banks and James Mercer of the Shins — goes falsetto and Katis buries that falsetto in a wall of sound, as on "Life Is Wrong," which could easily soundtrack one of the coming-attraction commercials on HBO or Showtime or a scene in a CW show. The title track is a nice, slow affair, and a lot of studio work obviously went into the dynamics of the album, although Secrets Are Sinister would be improved if the songs were more memorable.

Customer Reviews

Longwave's sinister secret is revealed in a wall of shoegaze fuzz.

Longwave successfully kept the shoegaze nerve grounded on their previous works, but taming a den full of Jaguars (and Jazzmasters) proved impossible, they have succumb to their natural instincts. The opening track shines an ethereal light on the album, an exploration of technique and sound, four on the floor drums paired equally in intensity by shimmering vocals, and layered guitars. Longwave has let loose the cats, who play loud, and cut deep.

Passionate Return to Form

After an impressive debut and support from critics, Longwave seemed to be on the verge of superstardom. But it all seemed to fizzle with their follow-up, the predominately ignored "There's a Fire." Their sound and songs seemed to take a ht as well, call it suffering the sophmore slump. "Secrets are Sinister" is a raging return to form, impassioned, emblazed, and louder than ever before. It's like the band grew tired of being simple indie pop background music. From the heavy, cascading blaze of guitars in Sirens In the Deep Sea, it's a ambitious re-call to arms for the band. And the rest of the album doesn't let up. The band carries their newfound momentum all the way through 10 songs of blistering, beautiful melodies. Let's hope the rest of the world catches on.

Top Ten Indie Rock Album of the Year!!!

"The Strangest Things" is from beginning to end one of the finest indie rock albums made in the past ten years. "There's a Fire" was a step to the side, and perhaps back, in my opinion. It felt safe and lacked the energy of "The Strangest Things." Therefore, I approached "Secrets Are Sinister" with some trepidation. Would it be more of the same or would Longwave progress? Wow. This album blew me away. Back was the energy, the shoegaze vibe, and the overall indie rock swagger. Just great. It's rare to find complete albums these days, but Longwave more than delivers, putting together one of the finest indie rock albums of the year.


Formed: 1999 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Taking influence from shoegaze pioneers and post-punk icons, Longwave got their start in 1999 when Steve Schiltz (vocals/guitar), Shannon Ferguson (guitar), Dave Marchese (bass), and Mike James (drums) congregated in a small New York studio to record demo material. Gigs in Lower Manhattan sharpened the group's sound, which melded sweeping melodies with touches of space rock, and Longwave soon caught the eye of local club owner Rob Sacher. The quartet then became the house band at Sacher's own establishment,...
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Secrets Are Sinister, Longwave
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Customer Ratings