As is often the way with debut albums from the cooler ends of the underground, Holiday At The Secret Lake probably passed a lot of people by. The movers and shakers were busy checking themselves in the mirror, the cool kids were busy following whatever fad or fashion was in vogue that day and Cold Water Swimmers’ opening salvo didn’t get the recognition it deserved. This is ironic because when the album blows up (as the hipsters say) and gets noticed by the more discerning listeners, those are exactly the people who will be pretending they have been there from the start. And they should have been, it’s a flippin’ great album.
So, with the album getting a second bite of the cherry and the band headlining at Aatma tomorrow, with the awesome Inca Babies no less, it is time for you to play catch up and get on board with this most excellent band.
Kicking off with Breaking Hearts, the band gently eases you into their raw and raucous world, this being the more conventional end of alt-rock, yet still miles ahead of the pack. So, you’re in. Okay, time to open up. Blam! Love Is Insane is a perfect blend of rockabilly, punk and garage rock, the sort of thing that The Gun Club used to knock out of the park back in the day.
And where do you go from here? Anywhere you damn well like, I reckon. And they do. Burn Your Idols is driving and hypnotic, with unflinching rhythms shot through with razor wire guitars and a chorus that the pop industry would be collectively jealous of (and require 12 producers and 8 writers to come up with) and Be My Sunshine is a third part indie song, a third pop shuffle, a third glitchy, feverish energy and third illogical brilliance.
Then we come to the glorious Everything We’ve Ever Had (We’ve Had To Fight For) a song that should be a rabble-rousing rallying cry against the deprivations and dirty tricks of Tory Britain. Perhaps we should make that our mission. Who’s with me?
Replaced By Robots continues in a similar vein, less the David Icke conspiracy theory that the title might suggest and more a reminder of how the modern world is shaping up. The subtext here is that it ain’t immigrants who are going to take your jobs but technology…they don’t talk about that on GB News, do they, eh Nigel? The album ends with, I’ll Be Your Witness, a dark diatribe that wouldn’t look out of place if you stumbled across a video and found that Bauhaus were behind it.
Finally, an album with something to say. It might not be pretty, it might not be easy to hear, and it might paint a bleak picture but it is the most honest, necessary, poignant and vital album you will have heard in ages. Get to their gig tomorrow if you can but buy the album you must!