Sometimes you just want to hear straightforward rock and roll without any of the pretensions of the post-grunge bands. Sometimes you want music that lacks in hip-hop influences, electronic loops, and other mixing of genres. Sometimes there’s just a desire to hear rock and roll at its purist, most basic form. This is what Solid for Sixty does, and it’s easy to appreciate The Secret of Magnets on that level. But that’s really the only level you can.
There’s a superficiality to these songs, and while it’s not the sort of fake deepness that bands like Matchbox 20 feign, the substance doesn’t go much below the surface meaning. The standard band combination of bass-guitars-and-drum, sometimes with the addition of piano and keyboard, gives Solid for Sixty a comfortingly familiar sound. The songs delve just enough below the surface to keep them satisfying without ever making listeners think to hard. Solid for Sixty is fun, but that’s all.
Providing the sort of lyrics you’d expect, Solid for Sixty offers little more than a few good rhymes. There’s sincerity to these songs, such as on “Blue & Hazel” but at the same time, it’s a sincerity that’s not moving. With lines like “Sometimes what’s in the cards isn’t always in the plan” from “Only One Awake” don’t mean much but sound nice, and for The Secret of Magnets, that’s really enough.
Solid for Sixty is enjoying themselves, and their energy is fairly addictive. With a short running time of only a little over a half-hour, they have enough material to sustain, and all of the songs are a perfect length, ending before they become tiresome.
There’s nothing here that would offend or upset. But at the same time, there’s nothing to challenge, either. It’s ambivalent music throughout, not committing to one thing or another. It serves its function as basic rock and roll, and that’s all Solid for Sixty seems to want to do on The Secret of Magnets.