Lafayette, Louisiana’s Secondborn started as an alternative rock, post hardcore, punk recording project in 2013. Members Daniel Pinner (vocals), Patrick Trumps (guitar), Stefan Hawkins (guitar), Tim Benson (guitars, synth, vocals), Alex Daigle (bass), and Lee Gauthreaux (drums, percussion), tired of playing by the music industry’s rules, decided to put together an honest representation of what they wanted to achieve with past bands they had been a part of.
Their EP, Symbols, slated for release in June, is completely self-funded. These seasoned musicians decided to forgo playing a lot of shows to focus instead on polishing their songs into a professional, highly marketable sound. With a strong social media presence, the band is also attempting to market themselves effectively.
The turn of the century blasts through in the drum-driven opening track “Say Love”, as I am reminded of Sum 41 and Yellowcard. For a band that features six members who have only been together for a little over a year, each of their contributions blend really well, as if they had been playing together for years. This could be because of dextrous post-production skills, but the cohesiveness sticks throughout the EP, making it more authentic than not. A live performance would probably shed light on this matter.
The ebb and flow of “Secrets” pulls listeners in, only to push them out again, almost like the hesitant game of seduction that trusting someone with a secret involves. The band steps more firmly into high tempo alternative rock territory with this track which, as with “When Lions Dream”, still features a hint of punk.
“Wolves and Hounds” alternates between high and low tempo and intensity sections, without ever allowing listeners into any sort of lull or rest, very much like a hound wolf hunt. It’s both dramatic and infectious, almost anthemic at times. This is the most visual track of the EP, easily one to be featured in a turning point scene of a teenage coming-of-age movie.
While “In Winter” is calm where “Wolves and Hounds” is frantic, it also visual, dramatic, and infectious, albeit in a completely different way. The piano and vocal-based introduction are somehow the auditory equivalent of snow falling. The heaviness of the lyrics and the title of this track do not stifle it from a certain warmth, despite the despair of lyrics such as the chorus, “Close your eyes and offer me your smile/again”.
A lot of energy oozes out of the six tracks of this EP. While Secondborn isn’t breaking new ground, they are treading it with confidence and talent, refreshing the early 2000s of emo rock with an alternative rock flair. For more information on the band and related projects, check out their official website. You can also follow them on Twitter.