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

Secret Lives Of The Freemasons

This Was Built To Make You Dance (2005)

Astro Magnetics

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)