EP REVIEW: Sparks the Rescue – When it Thunders
Pop-Rock powerhouse Sparks the Rescue are back. It’s been 5 year since the Maine natives have put out new music and they did not disappoint. Returning to their roots, the trio returned to The Halo studio in Windham, ME and got to work with noted producer Jonathan Wyman. Between traveling around New England playing cover shows, planning weddings, and buying homes; somehow Sparks managed to squeeze in a few living-room practice sessions and wrote a 5 song EP, “When it Thunders.”
Since the last album, the band has gone through a few line-up changes. With the departure of their last drummer, Nathan Spencer returned behind the kit, allowing the new EP to have the signature sound that the last record seemed to lack. Vocalist Alex Roy returns on lead guitar, and guitarist Toby McAllister provides more vocals than we’ve heard in the past.
The EP starts with the punchy, heartbreak fueled opener that has been teasing us all over social media; ‘Misery’. The track narrates a relationship ending and the feeling of being consumed by the anguish over a breakup. Peppered with adrenalin pumping drums and a pretty nice guitar solo, ‘Misery’ starts us off on a good note. ‘Counting on Me’ is the perfect sequel to ‘Misery’. The song begins by asking for forgiveness, wanting to be a better person. Again, Spencer’s drumming and the guitars really set the stage and get you excited to hear more. As the song progresses, you learn that ‘Counting on Me’ is less of an apology and more of a warning; If you’re counting on counting on me, then count again. Ouch.
So far ‘When in Thunders’ has a far different ton than Sparks the Rescue’s 2008 claim to fame “Eyes to the Sun’. Giving us more of their sugary side, ‘Nothing Between Us (Radio)’ is the cavity inducing pop song we’ve been waiting for. Nothing but upbeat vocals and some (a lot) of cowbell, this track will be a hit for a long car ride. And like all good and happy things, once the 2 minutes and 53 seconds of bliss ends, we are back to every angsy teen’s dream with ‘Good Enough Won’t Do’. With accusations of cheating and who’s holding you when it thunders, the boys have come full circle. First heartbreak, then isolation, reminiscing of better times, and finally anger. The track list is basically a relationship ending in 4 songs. But we’re not done yet. The final track, ‘Earthquake’ is far different than any Sparks the Rescue song they’ve ever released. Roy and McAllister split vocals while sharing the story of the last few years of being a cover band; punctuating how they get to do what they love but still need help from their loved ones along the way. McAllister provides guitar and Roy shows off his piano skills for this somber closer.
When I sat down with Alex for an interview, I asked him why this EP and why now? I was told it was partially due to the constant touring; “We’re in Boston every other weekend for cover gigs. I have my own solo shows 3-4 times a week. Same with Toby. We love playing music, but we really wanted to write some of our own. And this EP is for the fans. The people that have stuck with us the longest, and we’re hoping to get people excited for it.”
Well, as a fan, I have to say ‘When it Thunders’ has so far received fairly positive feedback even just based on the teasers all over Facebook. Welcome back Sparks the Rescue, we’ve missed you.
Sparks the Rescue – When it Thunders – PURCHASE NOW
- Counting on Me
- Nothing Between Us
- Good Enough Won’t Do