Album Review: Secret Club – Apocalypse Meow
Secret Club are a grungy rock band whose lyrics and overall vibe will make you smile. They have a kind of raucous abandon perfect for the genre of rock music. Maybe a more astute rock aficionado could pinpoint their niche more, but I just think the sound is grungy and full of attitude. It’s not exactly the kind of album you’d listen to with your grandma (unless you have a grandma who was really, really into grunge in the 90s). It’s narcissistic, trashy, and exactly what rock music feels like when it feels too good.
The second track “I Do What I Want” doesn’t mince any words. It’s a hedonistic anthem. If I planned on spending a rowdy weekend in Vegas, this would be my anthem. It’s about reckless drinking, carousing, and generally causing havoc. It’s that kind of “devil may care” attitude that most of us embraced in our teenage years codified in grungy rock form.
The following “Toledo” takes on a different feeling altogether. Highlighting shades of classic rock and more modern punk, the song is anthemic and full of a sense of the unknown. There are several questions in the song as well as what feels like a genuine existential search. Will he be with her? Where are they going? Why? It’s the kind of song you find yourself jumping to in a pit at a show not totally sure who or what it’s about, but knowing you’ve totally been there before. And every other sweaty, angsty person in the pit feels the same way. And you reek – and you bond – but mostly you just stink.
“My girlfriend works at the Circle K; I just found out she’s in the KKK. I wanna let her go but her daddy say you let her go you’ll be MIA. She said pick me up at 8 I said oh k.k.k.” I mean does it get more punk rock? What a crazy song. It’s definitely not something I’d ever think to write about, but if punk rock is good for anything it’s calling into question decency and societal norms. It both makes light of and partially addresses a very serious issue of entrenched racism in families and communities. Interesting.
“My Friend Angie” is a different kind of rock song. It’s much more chill than other tracks on the album, but no less unconventional in its lyrical content. “Why Can’t Friends Just Kiss On the Lips Sometimes” is an absolutely wild track. It definitely gets back to the garage rock style of some of the earlier tracks on the album. The theme is, as you might imagine, not particularly deep. It reflects the hedonism of earlier tracks, encouraging friends to just do what feels right. “I don’t wanna get hitched…” But seriously don’t lie… you know you’ve asked this question before. It will leave you asking “who made the rules?” How very punk.
Okay so “Lost” is the kind of rock song that will have you saying, “okay THIS is why this album is on this site.” Admittedly some of the grungier elements don’t really suit what I typically cover, but “Lost” is a really great relational track. It’s also got just the right kind of existential element to it that I love; it’s inviting conversation and valuable connection. It makes me think that maybe the more hedonistic elements to the album are layers of cover for the genuine heartfelt seeking found here. “I’m not mad anymore; I’m just lost.” Keep seeking, friend.
“Sweet Thing” is another rim rocker. It’s the kind of jam that’ll have fans jumping from their seats, or more accurately shaking the venue at a live show. There’s a kind of Guns n’ Roses flavor to what they’re doing on this one. It’s about a woman; “you’re just a sweet thing with a crush.” It’s almost impossible not to think about groupie culture with this one. It’s rock n’ roll through and through.
The final track “Rapture” goes in an unexpected spiritual direction. There appears to be some sort of inherent conversation regarding judgment and sin with this one. “They caught me nappin’ and now I’m only good at slidin’ back… I hope I make it.” It’s a fascinating reflection that reveals a serious connection with a militaristic Christianity. It’s clear that the writer of this song is familiar with the church, but no longer a follower. In any event, the faux desperate tone is really intriguing. It makes me wonder about several of the other lyrics on the album.
All told, this is an album that many fans of the indie rock we cover will really enjoy. There’s a lot of angst and frustration in the album, which is great for the right kind of day. It’s an album I can definitely picture myself rocking out to when I just need a release from a rough phase of life. The sonic elements are on point and the lyrics give listeners a lot to think about regarding sin, purpose, love, loss, and even a bit of humor. There’s definitely enough attitude to keep you coming back for more.