Built On Secrets

The Disconnect

Written by: TL on 23/06/2013 22:35:37

A couple of years back, I was surprised by how much Australian quintet Built On Secrets managed to grow on me with their deceptively catchy "Reflections" EP, but apparently I wasn't the only one to see some potential in them, because they're back now with a debut album called "The Disconnect" which features guest vocals from singer Will Pugh of reknowned Georgia pop-rockers Cartel. The band plays a sparkling, soaring, modern power-rock reminiscent of bands like Saosin, Conditions and Sleeping With Sirens, complete with loads of layered guitar melodies and a high pitched clean vocalist at the centre of the soundscape.

While I guess it is still a developing trend that bands like these skip the screamed parts, Built On Secrets never sounded particularly original however, not even on "Reflections". That record thrived exclusively on a sublime feeling for melody and dynamics. Which is why - if you'll allow me to skip ahead to my essential feeling about this album - I can't for the life of me understand how "The Disconnect" can be this bland?

Built On Secrets are very much themselves, carrying the torch ignited by Cove Reber-era Saosin with plenty of powerful, soaring guitar harmonies and with singer Luke Steel (yes, that is apparently his name, no kidding) spitting dramatic, high pitched clean vocals out like lives depended on it. Where the tracks on "Reflections" were irresistibly dynamic however, the instrumental side here seems completely flat and predictable - like run-of-the-mill, melodic post-hardcore soup. This leaves a lot resting on the shoulders of Steel who, in turn, must have not gotten along with the producers very well, because here he either sounds the sort of robotic that seems to indicate a thick layer of auto-tune, or he sounds so similar to Will Pugh that I'm honestly not sure if the Cartel singer only guests on "Sleepwalker", or is a consisteny contributor throughout the album.

The short of it is that "The Disconnect" - disappointingly - is an album of only few highlights. Here I'm thinking "Is Anybody Listening" and "Chapters", both of which manage some catchy passages that'll wake your attention up on returning listens. The problem is however, that the rest of the tracks put you in a state where a wake-up is needed, coming off as uninspired, stereotypical scene-boy rock. I'm sorry about this, because admittedly I've liked loads of scene music and I love to see these bands beat the odds, but the truth is that if you ask me, "The Disconnect" is the sort of album that I've listened to dozens of times yet still feel like I forget the instant it ends.


Download: Is Anybody Listening, Chapters, Sleepwalker
For The Fans Of: Sleeping With Sirens, Jamie's Elsewhere, Secret & Whisper, Conditions, Saosin
Listen: facebook.com/builtonsecrets

Release Date 17.05.2013
Artery Records

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