I think it’s pretty clear what the boys of King Sparrow set out to do when they planned, wrote and recorded their debut full-length album, which also happens to be called King Sparrow: They wanna rock.
The punk-poppers get things started right away with what I think may be the album’s catchiest track, “Resonator.” It’s rich in guitar riffs and, like most songs on the disc, is high high energy. Lead vocal Eric Ides Georgevich sounds great on the track, too. His voice is gruff, but certainly not excessively so.
And I use catchiest here for a reason. Kinda like how I enjoyed the heck out of Santah‘s debut, White Noise Bed (review here – by the way, on my shortlist for one of the year’s best albums), I like King Sparrow because they’ve, quite simply, got a great sound. Are their lyrics nonsensical? Sure they are. And if no, then they can only be interpreted by personal acquaintances of King Sparrow or, I guess, more scholarly folk than I.
Well that isn’t true entirely. “Leave It All Behind” is a sweet song about, I think, a guy and gal setting off for the unknown together. Where are they headed? Who knows. Better yet: Does it matter?
The end story is they’re off as a unit. And that’s special:
dear won’t you take a break
and come with me across the sea.
and we’ll sell off all our things and
we would live off of the sweat of our brows.
and i’ll take your hand in mine and
we’ll walk until we’re drifting.
and we’ll leave it all behind.
it was nothing to begin with.
and this is when we’ll find our answers.
when we leave it all behind.
Anyway, King Sparrow does an interesting thing in hitting the repeat button on their music. Not just choruses are duplicated — that kind of thing is standard anyway — but oftentimes a number of verses. Two, three, even four maybe. By the time a song is over, you’ve probably managed to hear the track two or three times over without doing much anything at all (save for hitting play).
It’s like, “Hey! That sounded dandy. Let’s do it again!”
You also may notice, then, that in many ways the boys play it safe on the record. Words, as I said, are repeated, as are the instrumentals. Everything feels contained, leaving little room for exploration within each track.
I’ll allow it, though, because King Sparrow is makin’ their debut here. Prior to the self-titled album, the band released just one EP.
On the whole, I feel like I responded more to the first half of the album. There’s something about those first six songs (up to “Leave It All Behind”) that does more for me than the six that follow. Don’t get me wrong: King Sparrow’s debut lacks junky filler. It’s solid energy from start to finish. Yet the earlier songs have a polish about them that make ’em more memorable than the rest.
Anyhow, be sure to check out the boys live at Schubas on Friday for their King Sparrow record release show. Ticket information below.
- King Sparrow, based in Chicago, is: Eric Ides Georgevich (lead vocals/guitar), John McGeown (drums) and Sean Price (bass).
- Their debut full length is streaming freely on the group’s Bandcamp page. A Bandcamp widget, actually, appears on this post after the third bullet.
- King Sparrow will host a record release show at Schubas on Friday with Pet Lions and This is Versailles. Tickets are $10.
King Sparrow performing “The River” at Schubas on November 12, 2009