Having loved their first album so much I might have built up too many expectations and I so didn’t want to be disappointed by their second full length, but despite reservations at the beginning it has finally started to get to me, still...it has taken a while. The things that were so great about 'Walk Into The Light And Reach For The Sky' seem at first to be absent on 'Years'; the fuzzy lo-fi feel, jagged guitars, fantastic melodies and loose frenetic on the edge of chaos excitement that infused all their tracks with a feel of abandon. This new album at first seems to be too ordered, too restrained, too slick, however all those little touches are still there, they are just worked in to a more digestible framework,surely after all, a band needs to evolve.
The Secondsmile sound is a post-rock Minus The Bear and Smashing Pumpkins meets Poison The Well. Basically, complex riffs and heavy sections mingle with melody and produce something thought provoking, uplifting, epic and rockin’ and this is what makes them so addictive. In essentials the band don’t appear to have changed a great deal; there are still those complex, jagged riffs and echoes, tracks like ‘Long Road Home’ has memorable melody and staccato guitars in abundance - and there are also gentle moments of tuneful reflection - ‘Good Night Sleep Tight’ is reminiscent of ‘Farewell And Goodnight’ by the Smashing Pumpkins �" the same wistful reflective mood and sweetness is present.
So the core is still present, the difference between this album and the last may be in the tone. Production wise there sounds like there’s been an evening out, a rounding off of all their edges. Occasionally, even on moments like the end of ‘Long Road Home’ which has some gorgeous distorted bass, you have to strain to hear the jagged edges and distortion, and the acidic drums at the start of ‘Tell Me A Story’ melt in to the background when they should challenge. Secondsmile still have great tunes and intense sweeping beauty and this IS a great album; they still have off kilter guitars and sharp edges, just here it’s hidden beneath a layer of soft focus Vaseline and you long for them to break free of the shackles and blow you away with raw energy and fuzzy excitement.