Live Music This Week: The Wet Secrets

The Wet Secrets’ music should be easy to describe.

The Wet Secrets

Friday, Dec. 13, 9 p.m.
The Palomino Smokehouse Showroom, 109 7th Ave. S.W.

The Wet Secrets’ music should be easy to describe. They’re a five-piece band based in Edmonton, led by bassist-vocalist Lyle Bell, whose other projects include Shout Out Out Out Out and Whitey Houston.

If you’re at all familiar with those bands, it begins to make sense. The Wet Secrets take danceable grooves as heard in the former, overlay them with a garage-punk attitude as in the latter, then add a horn section and male-female backing vocals.

In the Wet Secrets, Bell and company’s gift for ridiculously catchy pop melodies finds its expression in the indelible up-front basslines that drive most of the songs. Trevor Anderson’s inventive drumming and the wide spectrum of keyboard sounds spun out by Paul Arnusch build out the sound. Trumpet and trombone by Kim Rackel and Emma Frazier, respectively, are the icing on the sonic cake – imagine the Turtles’ “Happy Together” or the Foundations’ “Baby Now The I’ve Found You” being played by an alt-rock marching band, and you’re close. (See? Not so easy.)

Don’t expect any guitar heroics, either; if you’ve been paying attention you will have noticed there’s no six-string slinger in the lineup.

“I’m a bass guy, so my initial concern is writing a cool bassline and then sprinkling the fun stuff on top,” Bell says. “I’ve always had a penchant for messy pop songs, garage rock and bad disco; we decided to go sans guitar to give the bass, keys and horns a little more room.”

Together since 2005, the Wet Secrets produced two albums in their first couple of years – 2005’s “A Whale of a Cow” and 2007’s acclaimed “Rock Fantasy.” Scheduled for release in February, the band’s new album, “Free Candy,” marks the beginning of the next phase for the Wet Secrets, Bell says.

“We kept a fairly low profile from 2009 to 2012,” he says. “We made a conscious decision to ‘go for it’ earlier this year. We made a five-year plan of attack for this band that was basically a dare to see how far we could take this thing. This album is the first link in that chain.”

Sharing the bill with the Wet Secrets will be Edmonton’s The Switches and Calgary rock foursome Sons of Bears, featuring local scene icon Lorrie Matheson.

Listen to “Sunshine,” the first single from Free Candy.

The Wet Secrets in the iTunes store.

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