The Sparklers' previous album, Crying at the Low Bar, came out back in 2012 and has been living with me, in one way or another, since. Click the tag for the proof but that album has been one of my favorites since starting this blog almost six years ago. It's not a stretch to say that I've been waiting my entire adult life for the follow-up.
All the Pretties Girls Go Straight to Hell came out this week and I absolutely let out a fangirl squee about it, much to my officemate's amusement.
So how does it stack up?
Crying at the Low Bar sounded like the Gin Blossoms doing covers of the Replacements after a long night: wistful, nostalgic, almost angry if they had worked up the energy for it, the album has a mystical quality to it. Unsurprisingly, the songs that follow that template on Prettiest Girls are the ones that appeal to me most. But in five years, the Sparklers have worked up the energy and the middle of the album proudly saunters into full punk raucousness. It's a new trick from an old (to me) dog and the band pulls it off in style. The aggressive beats of "All the Prettiest Girls" and "Very Good Gatsby" are tempered by the wrong-end-of-the-telescope quality of the slower numbers, creating an overall dynamism that I wasn't expecting but certainly welcome. In other news, The Sparklers have still got it and then some. There's no gimmicks or slave to trends here: All the Prettiest Girls Go Straight to Hell is meat-and-potatoes rock'n'roll at its finest.
The Sparklers -- Facebook, Bandcamp
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