Secession Movement

We Need a Hill

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In 2003, the Secession Movement celebrated their sixth anniversary. That isn't a record that the Rolling Stones -- who celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2003 -- would be envious of. But staying together six years certainly isn't anything to be ashamed of either -- especially when you consider how many bands come and go. And that sixth anniversary seems even more admirable when you think about how stubbornly uncompromising the Cherry Hill, NJ, residents are. Like previous Secession Movement releases, 2003's We Need a Hill never goes out of its way to be accessible. The band's vision of alternative rock remains angular and complex; the material on this CD isn't easy to absorb, and Secession will never be accused of inundating listeners with quick-and-easy hooks. But for those who can accept the South Jersey alterna-rockers on their own terms, We Need a Hill has much to offer. Secession provides attractive melodies and harmonies; it's just that they don't provide obvious or immediate melodies and harmonies. So quite possibly, someone who isn't a seasoned follower of the band may need to play this CD several times before he/she realizes how much meat the songs have on their bones. That's the way it is when musicians thrive on complexity -- listeners must realize that gratification will be delayed instead of immediate. We Need a Hill won't go down in history as the most hook-filled or accessible alterna-rock album of the year, but the more patient and open-minded listeners will be glad that the Secession Movement stayed together long enough to celebrate their sixth anniversary.