A few years back, The Secretaries performed their first gig on the planked surface of the ice rink in West Edmonton Mall. There was a charity thing going on and people were exercising on really expensive machines to raise money. So it was that Colleen Brown (bass, vocals), Amy van Keeken (guitar, vocals)and Natasha Fryzuk (drums, vocals, accordian) baked up a new fan base right then and there under the sunny arena dome. We heard some rock anthems, a gorgeous lament that reminded me of Joni Mitchell being lost in Paris, and even an accordion. There was clapping and, I think I do remember, drinking. Since then, the band released an EP, opened for Gogol Bordello - also at the übermall - and in 2009 most notably doubled in size as a unit, simultaneously escaping the unimaginative "girl band" moniker, thanks to the three-piece, uh, "boy band," the Brassholes ... their Great Recession-dressed horn section. Now, the self-titled album has just emerged, a rockin' pretty, pretty rockin' thing that might remind you a little of Heart, making out, or even just the old days, when people would lay their feelings on the line without sounding like a pampered, sulkily misunderstood, gravel-throated man-baby. Between the fun stuff you will also note a brooding Slavic tint, which is because The Secretaries come from a city where almost everyone is at least *slightly* Ukrainian. Hoy! And pass the sour cream. What more can I say? Should I do the tedious "blues inventory" thing and name everyone they ever played on stage with, how many times they've been on CBC besides several? Talk about their fashion sense or how it's hard in a man's world? You can figure out that shizzle for yourself. The Secretaries attack with gorgeous, harmonic songs, punchy and thought out. Their shows are excessively fun parties, swaying with dented-brass choreography. When they tour your way, come up to the stage with a couple shot in your hands. The rest will be history. - Fish Griwkowsky.