Secret Cities - Pink Graffiti
With their second album‘Pink Graffiti, Secret Cities have created an album about, and I quote, “Brian Wilson and his work as a prism through which we view youthful things.” It all sounds pretty weighty (and like a lot of nonsense...) and unfortunately not at all like the largely lightweight and soulless music herein. It comes as no surprise that Brian Wilson is a major influence on Secret Cities, with floating melodies and a gratuitous use of vocal harmonies liberally scattered throughout but the lack of finesse and skill with which these are employed is ultimately the album’s downfall.
Songs like the two halves of the title track and ‘Pink City’ are lost in a haze of effects and manipulation that only succeeds in destroying the sound and creating this horrible wall of pseudo-sound that infuriates as much as it bores. ‘Color’ begins more promisingly with a lovely little Beach Boys-esque melody, but even here it swiftly descends into the over-produced, supposedly “experimental” mess that ad execs seem to love putting over car ads in the summer. Even in places where there is a clear, unadulterated melody such as in the album closer ‘The End’, there is so much else going on that it becomes impossible to pick out amongst the loud rhythm guitars and drums.
In the end Pink Graffiti leaves nothing behind; it is not memorable, different, exciting or even a particularly enjoyable listen, a damp squib that does not belong in the same breath as the great man they have drawn so heavily upon here.