This L.A. foursome calls their music “melodramatic popular song,” and they have the melodramatic part right even if they need to work on the popular a bit. The band seems to be infatuated with U2, the Killers and the Cure, and they channel those groups’ easily identified sounds for much of Secret Rooms.

Just when the mimicry starts to wear thin, Gran Ronde pulls a rabbit out of their hat with “Gold.” The song departs from the pop-shimmer formula by slowing down the tempo to the pace of a Neil Young dirge, the languid beat taking on an eerie aura thanks to the liberal use of Theremin (or perhaps a very Theremin-sounding keyboard.) The song is well-written and played, but it is unfortunately the only tune here that really offers anything unique.

Grade: B

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