Tom Racer

Secret's Out

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The Secret's Out is a scattered piece of alternative pop that fans of Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World might find interesting but hardly memorable, with its uneven vocal performances spotty songwriting. Alt-pop act Tom Racer released this debut full-length recording for 404 Music in 1998, just a year after the group was formed in the Los Angeles area. With a lineup of Erik Newton on lead vocals and guitar, Mike Elliott on bass, and drummer Jon Elliot, Tom Racer seem to be aiming for a tight power pop aesthetic that does shine occasionally on this debut. Newton busts out with some nice riffing on tracks like "Dream Girl" and the Jon Elliot gives enthusiastic (if not well recorded) performances. Too many under-developed numbers like "The Hard Way" keep The Secret's Out from really shining, but there are enough encouraging moments to keep pop fans from completely writing this group off. "Say Goodbye" has a nice emo-core flare, suggesting that the band would be well served to try ditching some of their jangly pop for a tighter punk edge. Tom Racer's talent isn't really in question, but Newton's attempt at ill-fitting vocal material and some under-developed songwriting make The Secret's Out too confusing to be recommended.

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