Wednesday 29 August 2012

Band To Check Out: The Shamefaced Sparrows

Article by KevW

Do you remember when we were a radio show and we used to have a feature called 'Stupid Band Name Of The Week'? Happy days. Anyway, as descriptions go "our mother was a Ye-Ye girl, our father was Link Wray" is just the sort of self-labelling that makes our ears prick up with excitement. So when London duo The Shamefaced Sparrows got in touch about a few demos they'd posted online and we read those words we were quick to get on the case. There are four freely available tracks on their SoundCloud page which vary in sound quality - something certain to be addressed once they take the plunge into recording a debut release. But this quartet of songs gives a great account of where they're coming from and where they want their sound to go. Their own personal description works, but there are a few other notable past heroes you could also throw into the mix.

In terms of recording quality, the highlight is the surfy psychobilly of 'Ride That Seastorm!', where the aforementioned Link Wray teams up with The Cramps and The Raveonettes for some nocturnal and spooky twanging guitars and distorted vocals that are sung through what sounds like a Fisher-Price microphone, the crackling feels like flimsy equipment being stretched to its limits, which, of course, sounds great. 'Apple Tragedy' (how the hell do you come up with a title like that?) is more discordant, this time they've got full quality instrumental gear but are testing it out through their Fisher-Price PA system. 'Murder In The Dollhouse' is as sinister as the name suggests but they'll need a rerecording to take the sharp, reverberating guitar chimes to the level they need to reach. Finally 'The Madison' channels upbeat early 60s garage. They've got a faultless set of influences and decent tunes, now they just need to tidy up the rough edges. But not too much, these songs deserve some ragged beauty left intact.

The Shamefaced Sparrows' website

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