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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hectic Watermelon - The Great American Road Trip – Hectic Watermelon is less a band than a solo project built around the talents of guitarist John Czajkowski. For this album he's assembled a capable trio to back him that includes bass (Harley...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues