San Diego‘s Secret Fun Club has been the longstanding musical outlet for drummer and engineer Sal Gallegos (Some Girls, Three One G) and bassist John Rieder. An ongoing collaboration that formerly included guitarist Nathan Joyner (Hot Nerds, Some Girls, All Leather), the band has been making odd, challenging, and relentlessly heavy music on its own terms since 2000.
A duo of bass and drums since 2007, Sal and John began writing, demoing, and performing brutal new arrangements for two solid years, finally recording what would become the Three One G LP Skull With Antlers during the first half of 2009. With drums that call to mind Bonham (if he had preferred meth to booze) playing sides of beef and bass tones that alternate between motorcycle rumble and insectoid modulation and filtering, the band has mastered doomy, frenetic noise with occasional forays into quiet minimalism and copy-and-paste sound sculpture. W.T. Nelson (Geronimo, Bastard Noise) has collaborated with his brood of Trogotronic outboard gear to contribute painful frequencies across the range of human hearing. The newest album enlists his assistance again, along with equally brutal noisemakers Justin Pearson (Dead Cross, The Locust, Retox, Planet B), Sam Lopez and Esteban Flores.
Secret Fun Club sees itself fundamentally as a live band: 700 tube watts pushing apocalyptic bass wave-forms through sixteen ten-inch speakers—paired with some of the loudest, most punishing drumming imaginable. The band’s sets are indulgences in volume and repetition, abrupt turns and uncomfortable silences.
101 was recorded in San Diego, CA by Sal Gallegos and John Rieder. Mastered by Nathan Joyner. It will be released digitally as well as on smoke-colored vinyl through May 17th on Three One G Records. Preorder, here.
Art design by Noelle Mason.
Sculpture: Extra Curricular Object #1 
Secret Fun Club’s latest release, the wild-eyed brainchild of Sal Gallegos and John Rieder, once again show that these two have mastered the art of auditory experimentation. Fluctuating between moments of scientific static worthy of alien airwaves on “Billy Joel Osteen,” to seemingly straightforward jazz punctuated by soothing vibraphone and just-slightly-off time signatures that feel like a calm descent into madness on “Ted Nugent Was Goth in High School,” Secret Fun Club proves repeatedly that their creativity is vast and unrestricted by any one musical direction. Throbbing wails and air raid siren assaults accompanied by punishing, repetitive rhythms give way to supremely sinister howls and collaborative noise from the likes of W.T. Nelson, Justin Pearson, Sam Lopez, and Esteban Flores on the eleven and a half minute track, Black Metal to English Dictionary.”
Which brings us to the tracklist.
Never taking themselves too seriously, the duo has a penchant for titling their songs with pun-filled monikers like “Pat Minotaur”, “Scott Baiowülf” and “Pariah Carey”– amusing juxtapositions of classic history/literature and tabloid-prone celebrities that would leave you rolling your eyes were the jokes to come from your dad, but smirking in the context of its use for doomy, sludgy, experimental metal such as this. And in a way, the meeting of highbrow and lowbrow in Secret Fun Club’s tracklisting seems like the perfect metaphor for the band’s music: impressively composed pieces highly calculated in musical structure, and yet simultaneously confrontational, gritty, and unrefined in tone.
1. Mastodon Rickles
2. Scott Baiowulf
3. Sabre Drama
4. Black Metal To English Dictionary
5. Pariah Carey
6. Pinche Harmonix
7. Upright Brigade
8. Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark Throne
9. Billy Joel Osteen
10. Ted Nugent Was Goth In High School
11. Pat Minotaur
1. Mastodon Rickles
2. Scott Baiowulf
3. Black Metal To English Dictionary
1. Pariah Carey
2. Pinche Harmonix
3. Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark Throne
4. Ted Nugent Was Goth In High School
5. Pat Minotaur