Some people like to make music -- others have to. That’s how Lena, the singer of Asheville deathrock band Secret Shame, explains the band’s 2016 beginnings: “If I couldn’t sing or play music, I would tear my skin off.” That same clenching expression comes through on the band’s emotionally driven debut full-length Dark Synthetics.
Lena’s voice cuts through the band’s dark, atmospheric sound carried by lyrics centered around issues of domestic abuse, mental health, and political frustration. Proudly, the band has never shied away from the often difficult-to-discuss issues that often pollute exhausting relationships and damaged social systems, cemented in their foundation on the band’s self-titled 2017 EP. While Nathan (drums), Matthew (bass), and Billie (guitar) thunder through songs with pulsing rhythms, Ryynikki (lead guitar) pierces through with sharp lead melodies that glue together the band’s synthesized, galactic punk sound. Secret Shame resurrects a similar moody deathrock style that swept through the 80s, as Lena’s vocals cut through dark atmospheres created by the band’s gigantic, reverb-soaked sound, building to cathartic lyrical moments. ~ Sean Neumann, Other World Agency