Release Date: Apr 26, 2011
Record label: Sacred Bones
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
One of the Fresh & Onlys' most appealing traits is their sneaky sense of versatility; they subtly change styles with the effortlessness of putting their shoes on. And they've been tirelessly productive, too, writing more solid songs in the past three years than many bands have in an entire decade. One of my personal favorites is "What's His Shadow Still Doing Here", from the 2009 LP Grey-Eyed Girls.
It’s widely accepted that the prolific nature of the reigning garage rock bands spurting out of San Francisco and Brooklyn (seeming sister cities in the current indie scene’s lockdown on all that is rocking) is tied to their expedited recording processes. Using little more than a four-track—or any other form of cheap, easy-to-use equipment—these guys spin off singles, EPs, and full-length records at a rate that can be dizzying. The Fresh & Onlys, one of the best of the bunch, dispel that notion on their new EP, Secret Walls.
Since releasing their LP Grey-Eyed Girls in 2009, the output from The Fresh & Onlys has been as impressive as it has been steady. And on Secret Walls, their latest EP, the quartet show no signs of slowing down. These five tracks offer up a generous serving of gloom and Peter Hook-like basslines, but those are about the only constants you’ll find on Secret Walls.
Over the past few years, the Fresh & Onlys have quietly become one of the most reliable and interesting indie rock bands around. They don’t get the same hype some of the flashier, more gimmicky bands have gotten. Instead, they’ve just honed their craft and created a murky, hazily psychedelic sound with some spooky undertones and a solid emotional core.