The Sparklers “Miss Philadelphia”
Sometimes a good press release does enough to make you know that you’re going to love a band from just a couple of lines. That’s certainly true when the details of “Miss Philadelphia” dropped in our inbox and described The Sparklers as “punch drunk romantics playing gutter pop and junk country”. That’s literally a perfect description of the music we love to hear!
The album certainly starts off in rocking style with the ballsy but catchy “Slow Songs Fast”. Tracks like “Victoria Past” and “To Catch A Plane” are straight up rock songs that get the foot tapping and the heart beating. One of the things that first brought the band to our attention were refences to The Replacements (one of our favourite bands) and you can certainly feel their influence on the quite brilliant “Last Great Saturday Night”. This song expertly mixes a punk bar band feel with a melodic rock sound. Indeed, songs like “Our Beloved Grudges” and “Too Many Scars” are songs that could be compared to that band at their Tim/Pleased to Meet Me peak…quite an achievement.
One of the things that made The Replacements so great (certainly as they developed) was their ability to slip in some more heartfelt slower numbers amongst all the chaotic rock n roll. The Sparklers also demonstrate that they are more than capable of carrying out that trick with songs like “Heaven Evelyn” and “St Bridget’s Cross”. The first of those in particular is a beautifully melodic song that you just wish was getting constant plays on the radio. The band contrast those more laid-back tracks with songs like “Mercury Falls” and “Among The Heather”. They’re the kind of Springsteen gone punk numbers that has made the Gaslight Anthem so popular.
This is just a great album that showcases a band committed to playing great rock n roll music. They manage to balance a sense of raucous abandon with still being able to deliver songs that are melodic and catchy. There’s a sense of authenticity and genuine love for the great music of the past that few bands seem to be able to tune into these days. Definitely an album that fans of American rock need to pick up.