Sekretly Growing Up
There is nothing more satisfying than a shaky project finding its legs and producing the record you knew they could. Long time singer and guitarist of punk band Alkaline Trio and recent frontman for pop punk favorites Blink-182, Matt Skiba and his backing band the Sekrets, released their first album and EP in 2012. In the years between then and their new record Kuts, the band has matured into their sound, no longer the insincere, radio-jingle brand punk they sounded like at first. While it’s no contender for album of the year, Kuts is an ideal sophomore record for this group, who no longer sound like they’ve been curated by a record executive with no actual idea of what makes good music.
Kuts starts with “Lonely and Kold,” which is more reminiscent of their earlier records than other tracks on the album, but it’s already clear that they’ve updated their sound a bit. “Krazy,” for its silly title, is one of the highlights on the record. The background vocals help it feel like a pop punk track that listeners might be more used to from Skiba, while still keeping the gentler indie rock tone he’s been using with the Sekrets.
Though while the songs on Kuts are infinitely stronger than on the Haven’t You EP, there is one major problem: somewhere around “Hemophiliak,” it starts to feel like the last few songs have just blended together; everything has started to sound exactly the same. Skiba and the gang have finally started to find their sound, but it seems like they’ve found one version and are sticking to it.
Matt Skiba and the Sekrets are finally growing up. Kuts starts to succeed in every place where their earlier records had failed and is something genuinely enjoyable to listen to more than once. There is nothing too remarkable about this record, but at least it’s not notably bad. Hopefully they will continue this growth and give us something even better next time. Now if only they’d drop that k’s instead of c’s gimmick…