Hot debut release from hotly-tipped UK five-piece

Secondsmile’s reputation seems unlikely for a band for whom this is their debut release, having only previously had demo track ‘Angel With A Stitched Shut Mouth’ featured on the 2004 Mid March Records compilation. The whispers suggest that this is going to be a special release from a special band, going some way to justify their place in Rock Sound’s top 10 ‘bands to watch in 2004’ list; an elite group that in former years has included such luminaries as Linkin Park, Hundred Reasons and Lostprophets. Rock Sound editor Darren Taylor even goes one step further by expressing his personal adoration of the EP, stating that “I fucking love the new EP, been listening to it all weekend”. Now I’m not for one minute suggesting that Secondsmile are going to be THE ‘next big thing’™, but the future is certainly looking bright for the Bridport quintet. It hasn’t all been roses and plaudits though; it was just last year when vocalist Olly left the band, leaving things hanging in the balance. What was so nearly the end of the story merely became the beginning of a new chapter, with Olly returning and the band recording ‘I Am Not Romeo, You Are Not Juliet’ – their debut EP.

As far as debuts go this is right up there with Wayne Rooney’s first Manchester United appearance – they’ve scored a bloody hat-trick. Similarities abound between Secondsmile and Hell Is For Heroes; especially vocalist Olly, who must be genetically linked to Justin Schlosberg at some level, such is the likeness of their impassioned screams. ‘My Tribute To Those Eyes That Can Sink Ships’ is my favourite track, with melodic intricacies that fans of Minus The Bear will recognise and love. Abstruse guitar lines jump around like an excitable child at a party, ignoring their parent’s pleas to “sit down and have some cake”. Despite the tempting prospect of the Victoria Sponge your ears are closed to any such requests, with the demand of some ‘dance action’ from your feet overpowering all.

Yes Thursday still do this sort of thing better, but then again that’s true to almost all bands who attempt this kind of music, with this level of emotional honesty. However, most of the bands that are good enough to even qualify for such a comparison wouldn’t do so on their first release – so in that respect ‘I Am Not Romeo, You Are Not Juliet’ is a success indeed.