Secret Plot To Destroy The Entire Universe

I Only Miss You When I Want To

Written by: TL on 25/01/2013 15:56:04

It may have declarative form, but I can't help but sense a question in the title "I Only Miss You When I Want To": Do we really only feel miserable when we allow ourselves to do so? Or is that just something we try to convince ourselves, to feel like we have some sort of power over sadness? In any case, sadness certainly permeates this second record from the awesomely named Philadelphia quintet Secret Plot To Destroy The Entire Universe, formed in 2011 and self-labelled as 'heavy heavy sad sad'.

The dynamic implied by such a description fits accurately enough, with Secret Plot relying on emo acoustic pieces with Brand New-ish, down-beat clean singing, contrasted by abrasive grungy/emocore-ish walls of bleak distortion and Rites Of Springs-ish scratched howling. To say it sounds sad is coming up short. It sounds like Brand New or Sainthood Reps on a cold turkey from prozac. Like someone who feels utterly abandoned by love, by self confidence and by faith in any redeeming qualities in humanity. For the most part, it's not musical rocket science, so even though there are cool occasions of post-rock-ish tremolo and indie/math-esque clean melodies to be found, the main power of the record really is the uncompromising depth of its bitterness.

That and excellent (albeit slightly gimmicky) use of samples, from Charlie Chaplin's "The Dictator" for instance. The eloquent and hopeful prose in here offsets the straight-forward mutters and cries of doubt and melancholia that are otherwise the mainstay of Secret Plot's vocals and only expands the immersive power that the band - despite the simplicity and despondency of their soundscape - does manage to conjure up.

So it's not that "I Only Miss You When I Want To" showcases all that much originality, nor that its songs are highly individual or exceptionally strong in terms of refrains. It's just that it's an extremely fitting listen for those moments when you do want to miss somebody - when it does seem oddly sensible to feel a little sadness. It's how it feels like a natural current of those emotions, compelling the listener to yelp along to all out 'mo lyrics like "so replace me! it's what we both want", in stand-out "The Montauk Project" or "I'm a failure and I wanna die! - In a way that I can be immortalised, with all my sins behind me!" in the eeriely positive closer "I Only Miss You When I Want To". I guess what I'm trying to say is that "I Only Miss You" may not be a standout in the conventional 'great collection of songs' sense, but I think it is as a believable and immersive mood record.

Download: Aimless, I Only Miss You When I Want To, The Montauk Project
For The Fans Of: Brand New, Crime In Stereo, Sainthood Reps, Seahaven, Wolves & Machines

Release Date 31.12.2012
Kat Kat Records

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII