Secret Cities isn’t quite sure what it wants to be yet.
One minute the North Dakota-based threesome is making aching, melodramatic stompers, and the next they’re playing blissful dream-pop. Take Pink Graffiti
’s first two tracks; “Pink City” is a pumped-up, town-skipping anthem, mathematically designed to make you restless, but before you can hop out of your seat, the cartoonishly earnest “Boyfriends” catches you off guard. It makes the album a little difficult to gauge—scatterbrained both thematically and lyrically—but the tracks themselves are performed well. For a three-piece, Secret Cities lay down a whole lot of noise, but never to the point of sounding overstuffed, and they’re also lucky enough to have two top-tier vocalists. As an album, Pink Graffiti
is a little schizophrenic, but it’s a rousing handful of songs.