Album: Get In Line
Released: Independently in 2007
Reviewer: Tyler Hess
I first heard of “Secondhand” in the summer of 2006, whereupon I learned two very important things about them: they were a pretty good independent Christian pop-punk band and they had worked a bit with Trey Pearson from “Everyday Sunday” (another, better known, Christian pop-punk band). Getting to see where they are at a little over two years later was a most welcome invitation (though this was put out last year, it is still what they currently have to work with).
Honestly, for someone who has listened to pop-punk more than everything else combined for the last few years, it is still interesting for me to see how different bands subtly take different approaches to a style that tends to have very little variety. That is probably different than most music buffs, but I’ve learned to deal with this by asking two very important questions: Is it enjoyable and how are the lyrics? Secondhand absolutely sounds like something I’ve heard before, that is not a shock. Besides their close relationship and obvious influence from “Everyday Sunday”, I can also see similarities with bands such as “Amber Pacific”, “Stellar Kart” and the late, great “Ace Troubleshooter”. That is not a put down at all, that means that they are definitely a band that I can play over and over again and it continues to be fun after many, many spins (hey, its a seven song EP, it doesn’t take that long to listen to this a bunch). So, this record is a good time as far as listening goes, but what about the content behind the songs? Well, I can say they are relatable, they certainly are a bunch of regular looking guys (who probably don’t even wear girl pants), but if you are looking for deeper things that make you think of things differently than you’ve thought before, then you probably need to look elsewhere (unless you’re a tween, which could be the case, I reckon).
The first track, “Sooner or Later”, popped in my laptop and played before I even asked it to, presuming that this CD was meant to be played NOW. That is aggressiveness I like in my music, but considering it happened at midnight it was a little bit of a jolt to the system! The title track, “Get In Line”, is a nice upbeat song and probably my favorite, talking about a girl whose actions aren’t making any sense (insert gender related joke here). “This Is Better Left Unsaid” is the most deviant of the group, coming the closest to a pop ballad that they have to offer. “Down In My Room” seems like the most juvenile of the tracks, yet strangely the most encouraging, not because it is a happy song, but because it takes on a deeper issue of wanting to hide from the world and a call for help. Overall, the songs seem to have a similar message “well, this is kind of a bummer, but I guess it’ll be okay”. Not really strongly emotional, but fun to listen to, and quite frankly that is a pretty good start, but I think there is room to improve.
Essentially, “Secondhand” is your prototypical pop-punk band, with a good amount of energy and catchiness for me to hope that they can get a label’s backing for a full length disk and the time to write enough good songs to fill it.