EP Review: Secret Cameras (Self-Titled)

If you happen to be a believer in the cyclical nature of local indie scenes, you may be wondering when the capital will next produce a band that will have you leaping out of your skinny jeans with interest.

This is where the shot pans to Secret Cameras. Something of a motley crew of ex-members of various mild successes of late, this rather fresh London outfit are looking somewhat determinedly to make a splash with their self-titled debut EP.

Opening with the optimistically titled ‘Going Places’, the stall is set early for this group’s synthy, hook-laden sound, with a clear view for the anthemic in its well built-up chorus.

What should more likely be considered the prize piece is in fact the second track, ‘It Doesn’t Matter’. Resembling a kind of The Cure-meets-Supergrass affair, its driving beat and astute balancing of synth and guitar leads it to an altogether satisfying crescendo, and beckons a sort of sing-song quality that promises much for their live shows.

Something that can also certainly be said of the EP is that it is impeccably produced. And by all rights it should be, too – with the Grammy-nominated pop heavyweights of Fraser T Smith and David Bascombe on board for producing and mixing respectively, whose credits include Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode and even work on Adele’s ‘Set Fire To The Rain’.

A slight nod to the Courteeners in the wistful ‘It’s Never Over’ and a relaxed number in ‘For You’ add another couple of interesting themes into the mix, and while not revolutionary in sound, they give a good delineation of what to expect from these boys in the future.

The last two on the EP, ‘Beautiful’ and apt closer ‘When It Ends’, head off in something of a washed-out, slightly distorted direction, with hazed guitars over more distanced vocals. It does work, for the most part, and perhaps takes advantage better of the deep singing voice of Itamar Starets.

There is certainly much going for Secret Cameras, including a wealth of experience both onstage and behind them in the studio, and good evidence of that can be seen in their efforts here. And while it may not be a release destined to set the world on fire, this EP appears a solid base from which the band can build well. Who knows – maybe the secret will be out rather soon.

Words by Benedict Tetzlaff – Deas

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