This Charming Man - Every Little Secret (Cover Artwork)

This Charming Man

Every Little Secret (2005)


This Charming Man was a short-lived band, and this EP is its only recorded output. Every Little Secret doesn't change any rules or incorporate any new twist on old classics like some of the band's members would go onto in later efforts, but it does rock pretty hard.

The music seems to take a little bit from American Steel (though that could be the influence of the commandeered line "C'est la vie / Save me" in "There Is a Thunder (Out in the Distance)"). The band combines chuggy guitars favored by groups like Hot Water Music and Dillinger Four, with noodly guitar leads that seem to straddle a line between soul and country music, with the occasional octave chord melody line thrown in for good measure. The bass gets buried under the rhythm guitar, and the drums aren't really anything to write home about, but the work is solid.

Vocally, the American Steel comparison seems apt again. The singer's delivery, much like Rory Henderson's, hits the right emotional resonances quite soulfully during the verses, then gradually the gruffness and shouting increase for the choruses. The background vocals are somewhat trickier. On "Cut the Rope (Before It Hangs Us Both)," the backgrounds are reminiscent of bands like Brand New with their high-pitched harmonies and cleaner delivery.

The lyrics on this release are very mature for a band so young. The songs have a more poetic structure than many in the punk universe. However, sometimes the lyrics seem to name-check other songs a little too much, or at least the name-checks are not incorporated well enough.

This release is solid on its own, and any fan of the bands mentioned so far should at least give this a shot. But if you need more of a reason, this is the previous band of Brian Fallon (of Gaslight Anthem), and any fan of Gaslight should certainly own this.

This will probably become an important piece of "scene" history in the future, but regardless of that, this is a worthwhile CD to own.