Sparks The Rescue

Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With

Written by: TL on 30/05/2011 01:40:58

While the name Sparks The Rescue is one I've actually been seeing around the internet for some time now, I must admit that I haven't actually heard any of their music prior to this, their sophomore LP "Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With". From what I can research, the band is a skate punk turned post-hardcore turned pop-punk act, but seeing as this is my first encounter with them, you die hard fans are going to have to live without comments on their style change.

Really, it would probably not have made a difference if I did know of the band's past, because their change to pop-punk/pop-rock is so complete that you would never guess that heavier elements have been in play. In fact, while listening to "Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With", I'm reminded of pretty much every band from those genres that I can think of, old and new, including but probably not limited to *deep breath*: We The Kings, All Time Low, The Academy Is, Sugarcult, American Hi-Fi, Marianas Trench, Tickle Me Pink, Plain White T's, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy and Valencia.

All things impressions put together, Sparks The Rescue come off as a manifestation of the genre that is more dense instrumentally, and more varied than most, keeping guitar melodies interesting and dishing out catchy choruses with conveyor belt efficiency. I write that like it's nothing worth noticing, but really, be warned, most of these songs will stick to your mind in less than four listens, and aren't likely to leave you for the first week, even if you completely abandon the record. In fact, it's probably the band's main quality, that they so seamlessly master the art of penning tunes that are recognizable within the first few bars.

Hence songs like "Saturday Skin", "Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With", "Better Side Of Me", "Postcard Of A Tidal Wave" and "Holiday" can all be considered great if you like songs that are catchier than the plague. The remaining cuts are not particularly worse of, as STR keep things edgy guitar-wise, with plenty of cool riffs and solos to go around, most noticeably in songs like "High And Hazy" and "60 Minutes Of Fame". We also get a couple good of guest appearances from the rapper Spose on "Better Side Of Me", The Morning Of's Jessica Liplon on "How To Make A Heart Hollow" and fun. singer Nate Ruess (I'm guessing, it sounds like him) on "Holiday".

To take a critical angle, one could however always point out the lyrics, which reflect the album in being generally light-hearted and shallow, but then, this is an intentionally poppy album, so that's hardly a severe handicap. In fact, I think there's more of a point of controversy in the vocals of Alex Roy, whose sharp, high-pitched singing is often excited to the point of campness (think Marianas Trench's Josh Ramsay), and I think it's something a few of the genre's manlier listeners will take issue with. To me personally however, that's a non-issue, and even while some unidentified part of me wants me to be reserved in my grading, I can't really come up with arguments to counter that this disc has a lot of things a good pop-rock record needs. I mean with decent instrumentation, varied songs and catchy choruses a plenty - What's not to like?


Download: Saturday Skin, Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With, Better Side Of Me, Postcard Of A Tidal Wave,
For The Fans Of: Every/any pop punk band from the last 10 years

Release Date 10.05.2011
Fearless Records

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