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Through The Sparks
Alamalibu
Skybucket Records
www.throughthesparksmusic.com


Rock quintet Through The Sparks, helmed by lead vocalist/guitarist Jody Nelson, is a confluence of retro-pop á la John Lennon and modern melodic rock reminiscent of the Broken Social Scene's sonic scrolls. The band's latest release Alamalibu is a 5-track EP that goes through a gamut of artistic forms from the comfy traction and breezy chord transitions of "Brion Monchus" to the jangly country folk splashing of "Warring Arms." Recorded in Birmingham, Alabama, Alamalibu is a product of barroom-inspired folk rock often showcased at such outlets as SXSW festivals and Austin City Limits live broadcasts.

The dance grooves of "Angel Fix" features flashes of power rock guitar chords jackknifed by flustering keyboards in the undertow carved out by James Brangle on keys and guitar, Greg Slamen on guitar, keys and bass, and Grey Watson on guitar. Bassist Greg Slamen and drummer Shawn Avery fasten the bars of their rhythmic pumping to the momentum of the keyboards. The ambling swells of "Preacher Pink" have a likeness to The Kooks bolted to vibrating guitar patterns that inject an upbeat feel into the melody, while the folk rock cuts in "Common Goals" weave variations in the combination of the guitars and the keys which keep the song changing and yet melodically cohesive.

Alamalibu from Through The Sparks bridges together garage rock, college rock, and melodic rock. The band straddles the line between retro-pop and modern rock, making for an album that's entirely likeable and listenable from start to finish.

-Susan Frances

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