ALARMS AND CONTROLS / SECRET SMOKER: Split: 7”

Alarms And Controls released a full-length on Dischord in 2013, and the sonic tethers to other D.C. luminaries, like Hoover and Circus Lupus, a band which guitarist Chris Hemley cites on his punk resume, are audible in the band’s inventiveness. The funky bass groove and tight minimal drumming on “Your Mamma’s Sleek Ride” conjure Minutemen. “Flood Plane” features nearly spoken word lyrics, like “Sibilance in the birdless trees / Grey and the black before the freeze.” The cryptic words pirouette off the tongue and stumble over the jangly guitar. Both songs are memorable and constantly unraveling without ever being mathy. Secret Smoker’s contribution picks up from where they left off on their debut LP Terminal Architecture.If you’re familiar with the LP then this 7” has few surprises, except that the vocals seem to be mixed inaudibly low this time as opposed to simply sitting in the music. Regardless, both tunes are solid emo punk tinged with post-hardcore that is more conventional than revisionist. 

 –Sean Arenas (Protagonist, protagonistmusic.tumblr.com / Zegema Beach, zegemabeachrecords.com)