Who? The Secret Handshake is the electronic pop creation of Dallas-based Luis Dubuc. Switching things up from the rock bands that dominated his high school years, the habitually hoodie-clad musician began laying down tracks in his bedroom studio, looking past his hardcore roots to embrace Michael Jackson and Daft Punk. Late 2004 brought the album Antarctica, and after a follow up EP, Dubuc’s solo endeavor attracted the attention of the Triple Crown label. The Summer of ’98 EP marked his label debut in early 2007; One Full Year drops this week, shortly before dates (with a full band) alongside Jonezetta.
What’s the Deal? Bringing along most of its 2007 EP for the ride, the Secret Handshake packs One Full Year to the gills with laser-lit tunes knowing no purpose but to turn any rock show into a hot-bodied dance party, as on the glittering “Lately.” But that party actually sounds more like the soundtrack to a post-millennial prom, where nostalgia for the past and eagerness for the future converge among bright squiggles, pulsing Pro Tools beats, and awkward kisses goodnight. The neon synths of the vocal-effected “Summer of ’98” instantly recall Hellogoodbye, while the digitized stomp of “Everyone Knows Everyone” could open a raging Cobra Starship gig.
Fun Fact: You wouldn’t necessarily guess it by the sparkling realms of One Full Year, but prior to getting down as the Secret Handshake, Dubuc served as skinsman for Thirty Called Arson, a metal-laced hardcore outfit that released an album via Pluto Records in 2003.
Now Hear This:
The Secret Handshake – “Summer of ’98”
Talk: Was your “Summer of ’98” worth remembering?
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