As someone who has followed the Secret Rivals path with increasing interest, from the scratchy early recordings and collapsible gigs through to the point where they unleash their debut mini album, I was intrigued to see how they had further progressed. And it is a cracking record. I don’t think anyone saw this coming in the early days, not even myself who had picked up on how much better the band were getting with each release. The vocals are much more effective, Claudia’s lead vocals are much more assured, while Jay’s back up and incitingly harsh yelps are much better controlled than the awkward shrieks of old.
The music used to have the roughness of The Wedding Present, but now slots effortlessly among the new indie wave of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and their ilk, while still harking back to the likes of Bis.
If Secret Rivals can keep up the momentum they are currently creating, there is no reason they can’t be the next big thing out of Oxford. Not necessarily chartbound, but a rather nice position of indie credibility.
Make Do And Mend is out now on Kittiwake Records
Secret Rivals website is here