By William E. Cannon
Listening to This is Fine from Secret Stuff, I can’t help but be reminded of early Alkaline Trio and The Starting Line. Secret Stuff is a Nashville based pop/punk/alternative trio comprised of Michael Pfohl (guitars/vox), Alex Gonser (bass) and Nathan Childers (drums). Their new EP This is Fine, released January 29, 2016 via Spartan Records, contains five great songs, each a full story filled with emotion and heart, every word drawing you in. Secret Stuff definitely holds nothing back;. Amazing songwriting skills and mastery of instrumentation are all tied together with killer melodies.
From the beginning of the first track, “I Knew You So Briefly, You Dead Soap Dog,” you can’t help but be drawn by the first open chords and Michael Pfohl’s amazing guitar mastery. The song comes to fruition when the rest of the band joins in, with not a single instrument overpowering another. You hear each bit as if it was played solo. The passion and raw emotion this trio puts forth is truly amazing. In these songs you feel the stress, burdens, pain, and misery of the stories of their lives.
It’s tough to pick a favorite song on this EP but if I had to choose one it would be “I Lost My Dinosaur.” I feel like every one can relate to the opening line of the song at some point in their life: “I always feel so unimportant, like every one just has more to give then me.” So powerful, so strong, this really hits home for anyone who has ever hit what felt like bottom, ever felt like nothing they did mattered, ever felt — like the song says — unimportant.
I hope that this is just a beginning of what is yet to come from this band, and if so I have high hopes for them. I will be interested to see what comes from this EP, hopefully, a full length album in the near future.
Secret stuff is a great band with a great sound — a little rugged on the outside, but smooth on the inside. Engineered and produced by Jon Hicks in his aptly-titled studio, Jon’s House, This is Fine can be purchased through Spartan Records. For a limited time you can stream them via New Noise Magazine , so check these guys out; I promise you they are worth the listen.