Through extensive live shows with countless hours mastering their timing it comes as no surprise Birmingham, AL’s Through the Sparks spent little time in the studio for their sixth release. Recording Alamalibu in their basement studio, the quintet set forth to push their limits and stretch Through the Sparks and the result is a crafty swinging sound.
Jody Nelson, Greg Slamen, James Brangle, Shawn Avery and Grey Watson recorded live in the basement with instruments, friends and family present. The resulting five track, eighteen minute EP is said to be a precursor to a 2013 full length, but it’s finely timed hooks and original sound make it worthy of a place in your summer soundtrack.
Falling in line with wavering attitude infused vocals comparable to Bowie or Geldoff, the anti-pop, refreshing rock easily snares you in from the very beginning. From “Brion Monchus” to “Preacher Pink,” though a quick listen, your body will sway with the beats and licks this seasoned group lays down. The latter delivers a ballroom like intimate rock equation which drifts down into a lulled jam before peaking back into an all-out finale leaving us wishing it were more than a mere five tracks. Take classic British light pop/punk vocals, have them camp out with some slide guitar, tell ghost stories with Bob Dylan’s tambourine and wake up in questionable positions and you’d have Alamalibu. Though they don’t want to discuss the night before, the style can never go back. Through the Sparks have a unique ability to feel familiar with their slightly southern riffs and swagger while keeping out of country and the “been done.”
Well-crafted and refreshingly smooth around their dark, dank basement formed edges, Alamalibu is a serious hook set to reel in those who never knew of the Alabama quintet and a finely tuned door stop for their already massive fan base. Leaving you wanting much more, the brief yet effective EP has made a fan out of me and left me hoping 2013 comes soon.