Many great bands in the Christian market have been found in Canada. It seems that sometimes the best music can come from
our neighbor to the north, and with native rockers Secret & Whisper getting signed to Tooth & Nail, they're
out to prove that more great things can come from there. With their debut, Great White Whale, Secret & Whisper seems to
have found a sound that borrows from others, yet may have enough originality to serve as their own.
The disc kicks off with a haunting intro, bizarrely titled "Blonde Monster." From that beginning, you'll realize you're in
for an interesting ride. Some lyrics are quite cryptic, such as the heavy rock track "Spider Besider." Other tracks have a simple, yet poignant message to them,
such as "The Actress," which talks of how we can get so lost in a film, from the impending drama. Intriguing sounds and effects
lace all the way through the album, evident on the edgier rock tracks, such as "XOXOXO" (which serves as the key highlight of
the album) and the soothing rock feel of "Looming Moon," and those tracks really give you a sense of what the band was
seemingly going for with this record: a sense of mystery. Bordering on metalcore in spots, the band gives a new spin to the
average rock we tend to get from Tooth & Nail, mixing in a haunting vocal by lead singer Charles Furny that just sucks you in
from the very beginning.
The vocals may tend to cause distraction when trying to make out all the lyrics, but overall they work with the sound that
S&W has achieved on this debut album. Other highlights on the record include the brutal-sounding "Attacker," the album's closer
"Great White Whale" (which serves as a quasi-rock ballad), and the slow, passionate feeling of "Werewolves," which includes the
thought-provoking line "With legs too weak to carry on, we fall apart like falling stars." For a band just starting out, this is an
impressive and captivating debut. Secret & Whisper are definitely one band to keep an eye on as they start to make a name
for themselves with Great White Whale.
- Reviewed: 2/10/08, by Justin Mabee of Jesusfreakhideout.com
After an initial listen of Secret & Whisper's debut Great White Whale, a lot of other band names come to
mind as "they sound like this." In this list I find Anberlin, Thrice, Taking Back Sunday, Sullivan, and
maybe even a little Mae (as some of the tracks sound almost "magical" at times, such as the intro "Blonde
Monster"). While retaining the pop punk/emo sound throughout most of the album, Secret & Whisper even
manage to slip in a little hardcore, as in the final track "Great White Whale." It sorta comes out of
nowhere, and almost doesn't fit, but seeing as how it's done rather well, and there are traces of it in
previous songs like "Spider Besider," it actually does work for them in the end. It may be a bold
statement, but Great White Whale could be the Cities of 2008.
- Scott Fryberger