Secrets Of A Wooden Hut – From The Outside – EP Review
Australia…I’ve mentioned before just how much I LOVE you guys right? I swear – your continent is more “plugged-in” musically…so ahead of the game in so many ways with what’s happening in your indie circuit right now that I can’t help but look forward to playing any file or disc that comes my way from that beautiful country. Or horror movie for that matter…the Aussie-outback-set horror movies are the best by far….but that’s another story for another time…there’s absolutely nothing horrific about the music of Secrets Of A Wooden Hut except for the fact that I haven’t heard about them by now.
Cause that’s my personal definition of horrific. Music like this should most definitely be heard and getting out there like a wildfire spreads.
You have to understand just how EASY any of us music-journalist people are. While it might take years to prove the validity of any album or set of songs over time for any of us, impressions are still formed quickly and standing out can often be difficult sending out tracks that are almost always 7-12 plain, boring old files on a computer. Not the music, the actual “physical” part of the whole deal…just lifeless things to click upon. And while this might seem like a small detail for all of you readers – for some this will become gold-star indie advice; Secrets Of A Wooden Hut sent me their new EP, From The Outside, via a video download link. And while the video may be only an image…it doesn’t matter…my first impression was that this was a band already thinking outside of the box.
The opening of this EP starts with a dark and dirty drum riff that will remind you of Tool tracks like “Disposition,” or “Intolerance” before launching into a completely different direction full steam with charged guitars, powerful bass and the sickly sweet voice up front in the vocals…
…yeah…about that…sorry…gotta take a quick time-out/shout-out here for a second…
Samantha Sharpe is fucking incredible. Let me just say, the minute her voice came over the mic and into that opening track “Madness” I was hearing everything I wanted to hear. And as many of you out there already know, I click play, I listen, and as I’m doing so I’ve got every piece of info I can find about your band onscreen and I’m doing my best to visualize the scenario from conceptualization to recording. So you have to imagine my surprise that Samantha was their least experienced member in the studio – she comes out flawlessly attacking each and every note with range, style and perfect tone.
…hmm…one more shout out…maybe more of a warning…
You JOURNALISTS out there are going to want to rush to your typewriter machines and start tippity-tappity-ing about Evanessence and start up your comparisons to that…blah bah-fuckin’-blah… I’m just saying that anyone that’s hearing that comparison is only hearing an electric guitar with a powerful female vocalist up front…and also that the person reviewing in that opinion is completely hollow and dead inside with no musical opinion of any validity whatsoever…yeah…that’s what I’m saying!
Once fully assembled, rehearsed and ready to go – Secrets Of A Wooden Hut landed at their home on Invengo Productions…a label that should be extremely proud of this EP coming out from their grip, it has been made perfectly. There is no doubt in my mind that no matter how GOOD Invengo Production THINKS Secrets Of A Wooden Hut are, that they REALLY still don’t know just what they’re about to have on their hands here. SOAWH has every aspect of a world-wide sensation written all over them! Get the discs pressed and ready Invengo Prod., cause the phones and e-mails for time with this band are about to go insane. Full credit to all that had a hand in this immaculately recorded, mixed & mastered EP – I hope that each and every one of you realize just how perfectly it all came out.
Another aspect of what I loved about being sent the album via video-link is that there was less of an ability to “skip-through” or go back to listen to what somehow might have stood out more…instead, with a single solitary file to click upon, I get this full EP From The Outside from start to finish…as I truly believe it was intended. The six tracks on this recording are chockfull of musical merit, and they certainly all belong in this set together. Incredibly consistent and focused – if you’re into the first track you hear from Secrets Of A Wooden Hut, you’ll be there and hooked on right til the very end.
Much credit to their songwriting and assembly skills, their creativity and ability to make complex rhythms that are still catchy enough for people to catch onto is a true example of their focus. This is a band that could have quite easily gone into a more intensely prog-rock route, rather than walk the line they are now. Instead, you have a tightly focused band that never slips once in their perfection, delivering songs that are challenging but familiar to an ear on repeated listens.
I’m not sure what they call that in Australia, but here in Canada I call that a set of songs that will HOLD UP over time…this will be a band I not only want to listen to down the road, but I’ll be actively seeking them out and checking in for new music. As far as rock goes – this is as excited as I was when I reviewed the album Dead Songs For A Live Soul by Sky As Skin here on the pages; between them and what Secrets Of A Wooden Hut have put here on record I’m a firm believer I’ve found two members in the core of rock-music futures to come. Three if I count our very own homegrown band from Vancouver Island, This Day Burns…someone get me the phone…this is a tour that should HAPPEN!
The writing is intense, dramatic and musically diverse. “Summer” is a great example of everything SOAWH is capable of from timing switches to the light & heavy, lyrically captivating and Sharpe fully takes her vocals to the extremes of her passion putting it all on the line. Whatever little experience she might have had coming into this recording aside, she left that studio a veteran. In fact, she is MORE than welcome to call us up anytime with advice on how to “get it right” in the vocal booth and on the page lyrically, like she is on this EP.
Every band has a strength even if they don’t necessarily have a weakness. Samantha Sharpe IS that strength…that piece that was needed to bring this band to that next level. Original members Heath Mitchell and Scott Murdoch are always creative in their musical arrangements, assembling arrangements that truly highlight and demonstrate Sharpe’s abilities, talents and range.
Their skills are flawlessly executed and punctuated with a real gift for melody; but it’s Sharpe that pushes them over the edge and into the fantastic with the sheer strength in her vocals and ability to write songs that allow her to expand fully and blow entire houses down.
I like everything I’ve heard from start to finish and can’t wait to hear it all over again. I like everything I read from their bio to their influences to their active postings in their social media. Each individual player is attacking their instrument with confidence, passion and perfect timing. Every mix is bang-fucking-on. I know it’s been said, but some clichés exist for good reason – for you rock fans out there – this is as perfect as perfect can get.
Go learn more about Secrets Of A Wooden Hut at: https://www.facebook.com/SecretsOfAwoodenHut
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