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Secnd Best, Jan. 7, The Olympic

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On its Facebook page, Portland, Ore.-based band Secnd Best writes, "Started in 2002. Sucked, got better, still together." So, clearly, members don't take themselves too seriously—give the music a listen, however, and it's also clear the band is resolute in its approach to its craft. Though adhering to a punk ethos (song titles like "Fuck This World" and "My Ambitious Horse, Charlie" to wit), there are also strong metal and rock elements adding substance and giving songs a must-listen-again quality.

It's one thing to play fast and loud. It's another thing altogether to play fast, loud and well, which is something Secnd Best members Matt Dodak, Kyle Ikola, Joni Krieger and Brian Ward accomplish in spades. Plus, one of the coolest aspects about Secnd Best songs, is many of them are fronted by insanely clever (sometimes even lovely) intros followed by a short pause before exploding into a high-speed, high-octane, high-caliber ride—one so worth taking.

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