Exposé Online banner

Happy Birthday Secret Weapon — Ground Floor Coming Up
((Not on label) no#, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Ground Floor Coming Up Cover art

This Seattle-based band takes an interesting turn away from standard guitar power trio sounds. Certainly more complex (especially rhythmically) than your standard rock fare, they haven’t fetishized that complexity like a math rock band (so many of which are trios). They also haven’t gone in the directions of punk or metal. Instead there are elements of all of these in the sound, with the result being music that is balanced between muso technicality and accessibility. The six tracks on this EP keep things short and sweet, with only one cracking the five-minute barrier, but each one features enough variety to keep the listener’s interest. Brian Baillie’s guitar is the dominant factor, usually grungily distorted and avoiding standard chords, favoring close voicings full of whole step intervals. His voice is more anyone-can-sing David Byrne than a strong instrument in its own right. As befits the mathy inflections, the bass and drums (Isaac Person and Chris Williams, respectively) keep things tight and tricky. A promising taste of what we can hope will be more to come.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Happy Birthday Secret Weapon

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

G.P. Hall - Marks on the Air – This recording serves two masters. First, it presents soundscape artist G.P. Hall live on stage, and secondly, it demonstrates the binaural recording process. Binaural recording places two small...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues