Idiot Monster

Written by: PP on 19/12/2013 21:09:27

Take a few impressions from "Showbiz"-era Muse, self-titled 1998 album by Queens Of The Stone Age, Placebo's older stuff, and Smashing Pumpkins' mid to late 90s records and you essentially have the foundation for Sparkplug from Horsens, Denmark, and their third album "Idiot Monster". It's been seven years since their previous record "Dharma Punks", which apparently received praise in the national media from Gaffa and P3 alike, yet this is the firs t I hear about them, but that's what inactivity does to your band reputation.

Either way, "Idiot Monster" looks heavily towards 90s style alternative rock, especially the British interpretation of the era given how their vocalist essentially feels like a mixture between a young Matthew Bellamy and Billy Corgan. Wailed, occasionally distorted vocals over smoke-laden, grungy guitar melodies, and an unhurried tempo throughout is how Sparkplug carry themselves on the record, feeling lightly retrospective in their approach but not enough for it to be an annoyance. On a few songs, such as "Don't Want A Thing" or "Wait Until I Go", early Muse influence is particularly strong, whereas "Self-Destruct" takes you straight to the awesome songs by Smashing Pumpkins with its funky guitar effects and strained singing.

Considering that I've always considered the 90s as the golden era of rock music in general, Sparkplug have gathered all the right ingredients here to make a great album. However, they are still lacking charisma and the last magic something that'd push their songs from decent to good/great. This is particularly worrisome because the genre they are engaged in is known for its massive names ranging from Placebo to Silversun Pickups that weren't mentioned earlier in this review, so they're fighting an uphill battle for attention against bands that, frankly, write better songs than they do on "Idiot Monster". Does that mean this is a bad record? Not at all. It merely suggests that the bar is set damn high when with this collection of records I feel obliged to use restraint and award them a hesitant rating of

Download: Don't Want A Thing, Wait Until I Go, Death Sailor
For the fans of: early Queens Of The Stone Age, old Muse, Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.03.2013
Jailhouse Records

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