Secret Lives Of The Freemasons - This Was Built To Make You Dance (Cover Artwork)

Secret Lives Of The Freemasons

Secret Lives Of The Freemasons: This Was Built To Make You DanceThis Was Built To Make You Dance (2005)
Astro Magnetics

Reviewer Rating: 2

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Secret Lives Of The Freemasons recipe for all likelihoods of success? Take the angular, alternative metal tendencies of Glassjaw and mix them with the melodic aggression of Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety, and voila! MTV2 filler! That isn't to say that all of This Was Built To Make Yo.

The Secret Lives Of The Freemasons recipe for all likelihoods of success? Take the angular, alternative metal tendencies of Glassjaw and mix them with the melodic aggression of Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety, and voila! MTV2 filler!

That isn't to say that all of This Was Built To Make You Dance, the band's debut full-length, doesn't have its very likable moments. However, even during these, the band is producing highly derivative bites of trendy alterna-rock, as enjoyable as they may be. "It Only Took A Whisper," despite its moronic punk-pop chord progression in the beginning and an intro that bites "Reinventing Your Exit" fairly hard, has a nice urgency to it, and seems a little more sincere than most of the record surrounding it. The track also introduces one of the more clear aspects of the Secret Lives: lead vocalist Brien Worsham wants to be Daryl Palumbo.

Worsham channels Palumbo somewhere between his Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence and Worship And Tribute days to a T, and it's nearly every second he opens his mouth. Whether it be Palumbo's trademark vocal waver, insistent yelp, or flat-out growl (the last of which Worsham does a little more often here), the similarity is basically mind-blowing for the first few spins of This Was Built... At one point, Worsham even touches upon the occasional raunchiness that surrounded Glassjaw's ...Silence album. "If It Weren't For Pick Pockets (I Would Have No Sex Life)" references what's hinted at in the parentheses with lines like "her sex is death on two legs" and "you can wash yourself / try to bathe it off / but you're still a whore."

This isn't to mention how criminally pointless This Was Built... is sequenced. An intro and outro track, as well as three interlude tracks, are all obnoxiously titled "Dance!" If not pointless, unclear conversation, "Dance!" may be a disastrous array of electronic programming or something equally fruitless, depending on the track. This Was Built To Make You Dance could be a fairly decent albeit derivative (vocal-wise especially) debut if it didn't drag so much and rely on helpless filler, leaving room for few enjoyable tracks (just about all of which are below) that even then offensively rape and pillage the traits of likeminded post-hardcore outfits.

I Fought The Broad And The Broad Won
It Only Took A Whisper
This Was Built To Make You Dance (The Dance Dance Revolution)


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
waituphere (September 12, 2007)

this album is just incredible. it has changed my outlook on life and provided the soundtrack to it as well. its beautifully produced and the trio of guitars are capable of producing some incredibly complex melodies and structures. they put on a hell of a show as well. can't wait for weekend warriors.

monklikespunk (June 13, 2007)

Love the record.

Love the guys.

haters die.


mtothe3rdpower (October 31, 2006)

brian - mr. palumbo has a pooping problem. maybe if you weren't so closeminded you'd realize glassjaw is never going to come back. you can wish long and hard. you should stop comparing new bands to old bands that were very INFLUENTIAL. glassjaw put out there last album in 2002. Secret Lives 2 years later. I think to compare the voices is very natural. Maybe there is a hint of likeness, but not enough to pass this album off as shit and something to illegally download. this album is by far, the best album thats come out in a long time. they are on the level of beloved and hopesfall. now if you wanna say either of those bands sound like someone else then you should go fuck yourself and get a new job.

Anonymous (April 27, 2006)

sure brien sound similar to Daryl Palumbo, but hey... we all have our influences. The CD is great and the 3 guitar remind me of Beloved (which was another amazing band from NC). They aren't snotty, or snobish and i think the jealousy bullshit has to go. The guys write tight songs musically, and Brien Worsham is the best in your face lyricist. there's no beating around the bush... he comes straight at you and makes you feel the emotions he felt. you feel like you're going through the motions with him. i love this album and this fucking band. they are, other than Burns Out Bright, and Baumer, all we have to be proud of in the NC/SC scene. support them instead of holding them down. Don't bitch because you wish it would have been you. Secret Lives = greatness.

Anonymous (March 29, 2006)

secret lives is fucking bomb!!

Anonymous (September 25, 2005)

i really tried to like this because i heard a few good things, but it's shit.

Anonymous (September 25, 2005)

not that impressive...very generic music.

Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

This band fucking rocks its the best thats out right now and fuck anybody who doesnt like it.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

A Jim, Josh, Brian, Travis, Justin and Tucker Ensley. Your faithful fans you with you!

Anonymous (June 9, 2005)

Tucker is fucking lying bastard. I hate you and I hate this band.

Anonymous (May 19, 2005)

I love Secret Lives they are not only my friends but great at being musicians...I thought this cd was awesome it is actually one of my favorite cds! Secret Lives keep on rocking on boys!~Emily

Anonymous (May 18, 2005)

wow. i saw these guys play a couple nights ago. amazing show and i love the cd!

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

"ad hominem (did i spell that right, asshole?)"

I wouldn't know because I speak English and not Latin or Greek or what-fuck-ever laguage that is. And watch who you asshole, asshole.

You never know who might be talking to on these "anonymous" boards.

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

Alterior is not a word, maybe? Try ulterior.
oops. you caught me. anybody want to critique my capitalization? it's wrong, too.

i'm still waiting for someone to show us one of those many Asheville bands that are way better than Secret Lives. outside of Ahleuchatistas, i can't think of any. and when Ahleuchatistas take off, i expect all the Secret Lives-listening high schoolers to have something better to do with their time than piss on them with ad hominem (did i spell that right, asshole?) attacks on internet message boards.

speaking of which, i have better things to do than defend them against people who've already formed their opinions. y'all take care.
- j

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

Ok I linked to this crap off A-rock and at first I just saw player hating posts, but then the person had to start playing the "don't judge Asheville, don;t judge our scene" crap.

There are like 15 fucking youth subculture music scenes in this town. If you do not personally like a genre of music that is your opinion. I, myself, do not enjoy this type of music. But I would MUCH rather Asheville be judged by the actions of Secret Lives than by the ultra-elitist, anarcho, snob set that I unfortunalty happen to surround myself with at shows because that is where music I do more so enjoy is played.

These comments about a band that is getting some attention is this new breed of total elitist kids that has, in the last 3 years or so, turned the punk scene into something much less enjoyable for many of us that had been trying to build the scene for years.

I have seen Secret Lives play three times, once in someone's basement, once at Green Eggs, and once at a benefit concert with many other local bands of different genres. I do know that they have played many benefit shows for groups such as Manna Food bank and local youth organizations, and used their popularity to be able to make alot of money for these non-profits. I really can't think of another local band, especially playing "basements and record stores and sushi bars" that have been as successful in this community supporting.

So anyway, I don't like to listen to their music, I don't like any "hard" music generally. But I do know they have worked hard and been playing in bands for 7 years in town evolving their style and they do help out their community more than just building a music scene. And for that I am proud of my brother and his band and wish them musch success.


Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

this is a ridiculous place to argue between people in our own city about a stupid band.

that being said, the reason nobody ever got so "jealous" of Drugmoney was mostly because everything they did wasn't so calculated.

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

Who's jealous of drugmoney? They are a truly innovative and talented group who deserve what they have...and have been in bands for probably 15 years or more paying dues in this city. Secret lives craft a sound ripped off by so many just because it's the latest "thing" in music right now. Fuck em.

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

"and i haven't been able to identify any alterior motives because..."

Alterior is not a word, maybe? Try ulterior.

Damn, J, aren't you in school?

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

Jealousy is ugly. Asheville? Thankfully one band has risen above the ash that these kids pertain is actually full of diamonds. This is a decent, solid band.

Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

the comments below are ridiculous. if people want to make negative comments about the album, that's fine; the mp3s sound like a bit of a disappointment compared to their first demo and their EP.

but the first time i saw this band it was in a basement, in front of 30 or 40 kids (which is where one poster said all the good Asheville bands still are) and since then i know they've played lots of places other than "the YWCA and their practice space" (which one fellow down below says are the only places they play). Vincent's Ear, house shows, a community center in Cherokee, Shotzy's, etc... i mean, do you want them to play fucking Jack Of The Wood? jeezus.

anyway, they've never been anything but nice to me and everybody i know, and i haven't been able to identify any alterior motives because i am not much fun to date rape. and the next Asheville person who wants to criticize them for being unoriginal should post a link to their awesome Asheville basements-only band. i'd really like to hear it. i bet it doesn't sound anything like Pavement.

(did you get this jealous about DrugMoney, too?)

- jeremy

Anonymous (May 14, 2005)

Heard, but never seen em play...ever. And for good reason. Asheville deserves better than this. Those of you who aren't from Asheville, please don't judge the our scene based on this. This city has such a wide range of musical talents and these jerk-offs need not include themselves. In a nutshell, Secret lives are just fucking embarassing...to Asheville and it's scene.----------Travis

Anonymous (May 14, 2005)

Nope. Pretty much everyone in Asheville hates them. The guy a few posts down hit it right on....there are lots of bands from this city who are much more talented then these douchebags... many of which play basements and halls for little or no money. I remember when half these guys were in the band Throwing myself (which is a blatant rip-off of another shitty band) I was at a show at green eggs and jam some guy wether he was in the throwing myself or not stood up in front of the band playing and started throwing TM demos into the crowd of about 25....funny though...most of the demos ened up in a million pieces in the middle of lexington ave.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

I'll see how the album fairs for myself.

From what I've heard though (..and I know some people will shoot me for this, or have me shot), but the singer's voice faintly reminds me of ...
Bear VS Shark's.

There, you can kill me now.

Anonymous (May 12, 2005)

I'm from Asheville, this band's unfortunate hometown, and can gladly say I have avoided ever seeing them play live. Not once. It's pretty easy when there are dozens of much better bands who play every single night in basements, sushi restaurants, and upstairs lofts for 30 to 40 kids and no money.I've known these kids for years, and they've always been the snottiest, most stuck up fucks ever. Excuse Sean Stevens (their former drummer) from that equation, he's an awesome guy who at least tried to do so much more for our music scene than these pricks ever cared about. Secret Lives hardly played a show in their hometown, and if they did, it was at the YWCA or in their practice space. You can get them the fuck out of my city, they will not be missed.

Anonymous (May 12, 2005)

i think the negativity here is due to the fact that this band sounds nothing like:
a: some vinyl-only street cheap recording band
b: nu-metal power chord huge pants shit.

just listen to the drums...he's amazing.

Anonymous (May 12, 2005)

this kind of shit already IS popular and i'm sure there's a shitty band like this in every single shitty town in the country and man fuck each and every one of them.

Anonymous (May 12, 2005)

ok so i just wanted to say that you can dislike a band and make that fact known without being an ass about it. i personally LOVE these guys and i go to as many shows as i can. about the whole asheville hating them thing, no one here hates them that im aware of. if they do then they need to say so and stop saying they love them. as far as the masons go, they have said only good things about the name. its a name for crying out loud. its about the music, not the damn name. your all going to say you didnt say anything bad about them when its the "cool" thing to listen to. learn to follow what YOU like rather than what your told to like.

vocalyouth (May 12, 2005)

i just hate that fucking name. i hope the real freemasons fuck them out of ever getting radio play or a decent tour.

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

its alright...reminds me a bit of bear vs shark and audio karate

soulbleed (May 11, 2005)

it took me awhile but i got into this album. i wrote a review for it over at my other site for anyone who wants to see a um, non-negative? review.

www.decoymusic.com .. should be on the front page of under S in the reviews section.

ElVaquero (May 11, 2005)

ok, since a few people commented that this album was actually amazing, i went to check out the purevolume page.

nope, derivate sing-scream shit just the same as taking back sunday, but without any of the little songwriting ability that they have. what do you even call this genre? it's not screamo, that's for sure, it's not punk, and it's not emo... i dunno

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

whether you say you like it or not, you'll own this c.d. and listen to it in your car when nobody's around.... trust me.

you'll know every word.

and about that a-ville comment, these boys are the only ones who have made it out of the asheville scene, and probobly the only ones who ever will... and they deserve every mile away they get.

ElVaquero (May 11, 2005)

i like how every time anyone disagrees with the review, they take it out on the entire site..

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

Funny... everywhere else I checked, this record got an incredible review.
The funny part, of course, is how all the posters just follow the lead and go along with the crowd. Some of the posters haven't even heard the album yet.

I picked this record up yesterday and it's amazing. I think I'll post on absolutepunk from now on...

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

Enjoyable listen, but nothing amazing. I was hoping for something a little more. Their EP is present on this LP in full form, re-recorded. It never fails...when songs are re-recorded the second version is never as good as the first one.

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

the funniest thing about this band is that they have three guitarists (3) fucking guitarists and why that would be something sort of cool with three people playing three different melody lines they all play the same fucking thing. lamest shit i've ever heard. Geoff better find some better talent for his label or it'll sink as fast as the 'emo' movement he was partly responsible for making shitty.

ElVaquero (May 11, 2005)

"Don't listen to this guy, he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about."

Heh... who lets these shitty reviews get through anyways?!

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

worst band name ever.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I haven't heard this yet, but the Valley Arena is pretty good, so at worst, Astro Magnetics is batting a 0.500.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

yep. pretty shitty. pretty unoriginal.


Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

This band is horrible....fucking horrible. Yet another mop-haired statistic that makes this genre so damned unlistenable.
There are a TON of better bands from Asheville...Fuck you Secret lives....Asheville dosen't want you.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

Haha, that guys sounds just like Daryl Palumbo.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

Uh, no thanks, I don't dance.

theundergroundscene (May 10, 2005)

from the band name and cd title i was expecting something pretty good

i was so wrong

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

im from around charlotte and ive seen these guys play before, and i thought they were horrible.there un-original scum bags and there live show sucks. dont buy this cd.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I thought that this album was at least an 8. There are some really good songs on here. Don't listen to this guy, he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

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