Screaming Secrets finds Second Story Man flexing every muscle they have. “Clocks” is my favorite (next to the more personal but more powerful “Traffic Jams”), but that’s because of my hard-rock bias (and Carrie Neumayer’s bad-ass scream). When they want to get loud, you better believe they will, and when they want to fully develop a sound or song, they’ll do that, too.
It isn’t hard to tell that this well-organized, coherent album took more than a year of work: Auxiliary banjos and violins don’t seem haphazard; rather they accentuate each song’s specific goals. SSM’s service of the song — no matter how different, harmonic or twangy it needs to be — is the band’s most refreshing characteristic. They fill each tune with every twist, turn and texture necessary, make any genre work for them, and tie it together with signature vocal harmonies. This album deserves all the attention it can get.
- Pawl Schwartz