I know the standard line. Amphetamine Reptile records put out “Noise Rock’, Touch and Go put out ‘Post Hardcore” and Sub Pop put out “Grunge”. I have a simpler theory- each put out rock records, flavored by the local tastes. I mean, sure, I dig musical genre hair splitting, and Vinyl collectors are my dudes, but I recently gave the habit up. Much like giving up any addictive habit, you have a period where you’re “allergic” to it. That’s where I am at, right now.
So, Conan Neutron is a rock lifer. That’s been established. He has his bonafides in order. Much like other lifers, calling the Secret Friends a “project” insults the laurels that he has earned. However, the deal is- other than Conan and Tony Ash, you’ll see and hear other players go through and Dale Crover always drums on the record. They’re all good, and don’t knock it until you try it, but be aware that this also isn’t like a traditional band, either.
This “release” isn’t traditional, either. It’s a compilation of 12 singles, each a split with another group of like-minded miscreants. So, you get 24 tracks total, with 12 from the Secret Friends, and 12 other bands, with a single track each.
Much like the aforementioned 1990’s record labels- it’s a different concept applied to the fundamental core of rock music. So, let’s be clear- this is ROCK- like the Stooges, Radio Birdman, Melvins, or Runaways. Sure, some bits are a bit “Noise Rock”, or “Grunge” or ‘Garage rock’ or even ‘post hardcore”- but if you don’t hear “ROCK” in ALL CAPS, all the time, it might have been a little too long since you heard rock music. That’s not to say it’s dumb, teenaged, or facile. Again, check yourself sport- real rock music can simultaneously appeal to several glands at the same time. Brains include both the frontal lobes and cerebral cortex – get the idea? This is as smart as some sneering punk intellectual, but with the same swagger and balls as any bare chested Rawk Gahhhd.
So, if like me, you want to get back to the meat of the matter- I think you won’t go wrong, here.