Sparrows are a Post-Punk/Hardcore outfit from Toronto, Canada. Their EP from the early part of last year, Dragging Hell received quite a lot of praise for the breath of fresh air it brought toward the Emo Revival scene. Now 6 days after the release of their sophomore full length Let The Silence Stay Where It Was, Sparrows seem to have created an album which show cases parts of what made that EP what it was.
The opening track of the full length Three Four Two Five, Three Four Two Five, sets a strong precedent for the rest of the album and rings true of what made the Dragging Hell EP so good. Through Dan Thomson’s strong vocal delivery there is a clear tone set for the album as consistently these raw and passionate vocals echo through to the end run time of not only each song but also the completed album.
The Written Rules of Choking and Carrying On With a Modern Lifespan carry on this sophomore record and something notably is clear in these tracks through the way they showcase the softer melodic parts that Sparrows are capable off, but also the wall of sound that presses up against the vocals, similar to how it did in Dragging Hell.
Like most of this album the song speaks so truthfully about the bad year Sparrows had last year and filled with frustration the angst is clear through Thomson’s vocal delivery.
Cave Eater, being released earlier alongside a cover of Failure’s Sergeant Politeness, is the lead single on this album and it was a song which showed the potential this album had. The songs juxtaposing instrumentation allowed a clear indication towards the changes Sparrows had been through in the past year. Yet there is something about this track that feels slightly underwhelming almost as if Sparrows haven’t played all their cards yet.
If We Make It Over The Mountain and Teething follow and they are two of the biggest contrasts in the entire album, not necessarily because of content but because Teething is notably the weakest song yet If We Make It Over The Mountain is the strongest track on the entire album. However saying Teething being the weakest track isn’t actually a bad thing as this song still punches through with the crashing riffs that Sparrows are so accustomed to. Yet If We Make It Over The Mountain, just from the opening cements itself as the strongest track with its more uptempo beat, created by Jon Busby’s stellar drumming, and strong musical presentation from the entire band.
The final set of songs on the album perfectly tie the album to what is a satisfying end, with the way in which during Fire In The House Of The Lord, Sparrows are at their most melodic vocally and instrumentally before a slow build to where they are at their most chaotic. However in Tinnitus and Our Saviour Left Us For Dead there is something missing that is present in Wake The Red Sky Season and Fire In The House Of The Lord, whether it is the instrumentation isn’t up to par or the fact that the vocals come across more raw and honest.
This album has given a good point for Sparrows to move on from. However there isn’t much that makes this full length stand out against everything that has thus far come out this year. The album has a great casing, its beginning and end, yet the middle section of the record feels quite lackluster in its entirety, despite each song’s own personal high moments. Yet with the carefully placed harmonies and well-crafted lyrics backed up with the powerful instrumentation this album is one worth listening to, but it also makes Sparrows a band to watch in the future.