Local punk band, the Secretions, reunites, albeit briefly

It is said that even prostitutes and politicians become respectable if they stick around long enough. The Secretions set out to prove that the same maxim does not apply to punk-rock bands, taking the stage at Capitol Garage on a recent Saturday in front of a sold-out audience to celebrate 10 years of playing loud three-chord punk rock for Sacramento and wherever else their van will boldly go.

The evening opened with the Lousy Lovers, who turned in a lively set, during which I hovered dangerously close to muttering “Oi!” under my breath. Luckily, my Catholic upbringing allowed me the needed restraint. Mynock followed with a rousing rendition of “Viva Secretions.” Speeding in the Rain was the last step in getting the audience sufficiently warmed up for the Secretions, who were now slamming Jolt Cola in preparation for their own set. Speeding, a six-piece, was fronted by rock god Justin Hell, who sports a stage presence and voice reminiscent of a young Glenn Danzig. The band did its job with aplomb, whipping the young audience into a frenzy before letting the old men take the spotlight.

When the Secretions finally did begin making that catchy racket of theirs, the club truly exploded—as did several cases of silly string. The stage ceased to exist, as band and fans, happily singing along, mixed freely. The Secretions powered through 10 years of originals and covers, rarely pausing between songs. When they did, it was to point out that the Secretions’ original audience had dropped its current audience off tonight and will be back to pick them up later. The three veterans of Sacto punk brought up members of the bands that had opened this evening to guest with them—along with every ex-member they could dig up.

During the brief pauses needed to get musicians on and off the stage, drunk but dutifully sincere love was professed by the Secretions to each other, to their guests and to their audience—several of whom felt inclined to send their own sloppy drunk love right back at ’em. The evening ended with the original lineup of the Secretions rocking it, old-school style.

If this night was an apt reflection of the current scene at Capitol Garage, I must say my faith in this newest generation of cute little punk rockers has been at least partially restored. This young audience managed its share of rowdiness and chaos with no fights and, most refreshingly, plenty of girls participating in the action without fear of being fondled or slugged by the jock-with-a-mohawk type so prevalent in my own days of three-chord fandom. Shall I be deprived of being the grumpy old man spouting off about the good old days of punk rock? Oh well—I never liked that old guy anyway.