[17 June 2012]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Like contemporaries Vulture Whale, and Verbena before them, Through the Sparks are bringing rock ‘n roll at its finest out of Birmingham, Alabama. After frontman Jody Nelson helped Wooden Wand with their most recent record, Briarwood, he and his band have returned with the EP Alamalibu, named after the studio in which it was recorded. It’s a fitting name, because Through the Sparks is a capital-P Professional rock band here, recording carefully orchestrated yet lean rock songs with a touch of southern sweat and twang.
From the AM-gold sweetness of opener “Brion Monchus” to the floorboard-stomp of “Warring Arms” to the moody, buzzing grind of “Angel Fix”, Through the Sparks shows us an impressive range. Nelson’s echoed voice wobbles with tense energy, and the band swells around him with subtle organ fills and ringing guitars. This is another impressive set in an increasingly strong discography by these guys. If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in rock music in Birmingham, it might be time to take a listen. And Alimalibu is a great starting point.