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Sheila Divin | Secret Society | EP | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Sheila Divine

Secret Society EP (Arena Rock)
by Scott Hefflon

If you follow sad, sweeping indie rock, chances are you've probably heard of Boston's The Sheila Divine. They were a buzz band like crazy in the late '90s, got signed to Roadrunner before their demo/EP even came out, and their full-length, New Parade, broke hearts and dropped jaws due to its sad beauty, dramatic hooks, and yearning, passionate delivery. Perhaps like U2 or Morrissey, yet slipping in a not-quite-hardcore howl, just to send shivers along your spine. The closing "Rock you yeah, yeah, yeah" from "Like a Criminal" haunts me to this day. After Roadrunner dropped everyone but cookie-cutter nü metal bands, The Sheila Divine self-released Where Have All My Countrymen Gone, and while that's usually a defiant'n'proud shot in the foot, the CD was well-done, well-received locally, and snuck out nationally like most unsigned bands only dream of. They made some really indie-elitist playlists, popped up on Internet radio stations, and made some year-end fave lists by indie scenesters as well as people who usually won't touch that self-centered genre with a big fuckin' stick. Which brings us to Secret Society, a mere six-song CD of chest-clutching beauty, low-key, mellow hooks, and a "wall of guitar" guitar sound which is more Spiritualized than Pantera. Whereas indie/emo bands are well-known for having perhaps two good songs and 30 additional minutes of whiney, yelpy filler, these 25 minutes barely wet the whistle, making you long for more. Gorgeous.
(242 Wythe Ave, Studio 6 Brooklyn, NY 11211)

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