The music that one encounters on Secret Agent Bill’s disc is hard-hitting, to say the least. The swirling guitars may not be the most exciting, but the political message that winds its way throughout the track is something to behold. The harmony that the band creates during “Gentrify or Die” just through the vocals present is topped off by the ever-changing time signatures on the track. “Thought I Knew” mixes the straight-forward metal-punk of Bad Religion and Sum 41 with a more-than-adequate amount of rock to flow well with the next track, the very Irish-influenced “Invincibility”. “Indivisibility” really is a watershed track for the band, completely changing up their style for the space of three-minutes but also keeping some of the best facets of the band (especially the very experimentative time signatures). This continual flip-moding continues during the Corrosion of Conformity-influenced “Nobody Knows”. The thrash-styled “13 Hours” tackles both DRI and a number of the nu-rock bands currently out on the scene, while “Sixpack” is a straight-forward California-punk type of track (think The Offspring meets Dead Kennedys).
Tracks like “Shut The Fuck Up” could have been done by a bevy of different two-bit punk bands, but the track is Secret Agent Bill’s own due to the tremendous musicianship on the track, whether it be the audible bass line or the stoner-rock influenced guitars (think The Cult). What begins to surface during the entirety of this disc is two distinctly different paths for Secret Agent Bill to go down; first off is the hard-edged pop-punk of “Outside’ and “Thought I Knew”, which mixes equal parts Welt, Up Syndrome, and Bad Religion. Second is the harder-rock section of the band, which has a large presence during “13 Hours”. Still, there this never a time during Secret Agent Bill’s CD where a listener will know for sure exactly what the band is planning for the next track. The band is one of the few currently on tour that can provide listeners with an equal assault both in live and studio settings, and will undoubtedly be more of a household name as the years pass. Everything is solid during the course of this album, and that makes a reviewer’s job easy. The band does literally over a hundred dates a year, so chances are that they will be able to make it somewhere near you in the not-so-distant future. Check them and this disc out.
Top Tracks: Sixpack, Shut The Fuck Up
Secret Agent Bill – S/T / 2003 24 Hour / 14 Tracks / http://www.secretagentbill.com / Reviewed 06 July 2005