After branching out from being the gorilla glue of the Manchester music scene, Golden Believers Records International couldn’t have chosen a better inaugural outfit to advocate on our Brexit-blighted shores than the Mexican ‘psyspyinstrosurf’ originators, Secret Agent.
Their latest mostly instrumental EP, Moros En La Costa, is the kind of cinematically immersive feat of authenticity the average CD-buyer laments about not existing anymore. The conceptual album focuses on the espionage practices used from the cold war to the present day. While that sounds like a serotonin sucker, there’s nothing but escapist reverie here.
With no lyrics to get in the way in the majority of the tracks, you’re left with enough space to metaphysically make yourself the main protagonist in the Spy-Spaghetti Western while the warm shimmering psych surf rock elements amplify the chill of the colder post-punk tones that are always lingering to bring the overarching sense of trepidation.
If Twin Peaks’ Agent Cooper found himself across the border, I’m fairly certain the title single would be reflective of his sonic-inner monologue. The sense of intrepid espionage heightens with track two, Man in the Middle, which picks up the pace, a fair amount of sun-bleached spacey intrigue, and an almost Whovian sense of aural alchemy.
Loaded Gun, featuring vocals from Daniel Gutiérrez, is the surfy, psychy equivalent to Charles Bukowski’s infamous “love is a dog from hell” proclamation. With the hooky lyric “I need a loaded gun because I’m falling in love”, the riotous track finds a succinct way of alluding to the snake pits we throw ourselves into in the name of affection, and our proclivity to do it anyway because there is nothing like that particular poison.
Following Loaded Gun, Stasi Romeo is the calm after the visceral storm. Kompromat serves as the final standoff, and Moros En La Costa (Reprise) is the final psychedelic farewell with synths so phantasmal that they will probably need an exorcism when they next get serviced.
Honestly, I scarcely had an autonomous thought in the entire duration of the EP. And these days, accolades don’t get much better than that.
Check out Secret Agent on Bandcamp, Spotify & Facebook.
Moros En La Costa will be released via Golden Believers Records International on May 13th; pre-order & grab a copy here.
Review by Amelia Vandergast