Sparks the Rescue - Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: May 10, 2011
I thought Sparks the Rescue was destine for a mainstream breakthrough. They had it all, Great Record (Fearless), Popular debut album (Eyes to the Sun), and a single called ''She's a Bitch and I'm a Fool". Unfortunately for the band, they failed to catch on to a mainstream audience. Fearless cut them several months later, but that hasn't stopped Sparks the Rescue from touring the nation (Both as headliners and openers for bands like the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and D.R.U.G.S) label-free. I'm not sure why they were cut from Fearless in the first place. The label claimed Sparks lost 'key members,' yet the band's only lineup change was a switch in bassist. If Fearless simply disliked the band's albums, I'm even more confused. Listening to Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With (Hereon abbreviated to WTIBCW), Sparks the Rescue showed plenty of promise.
The 5 piece band consists of Alex Roy on the mic, Toby McAllister playing rhythm guitar and singing the backup vocals, Mike Naran on lead guitar, David Pait on Bass (Replacing Ben Briggs. This was the only lineup change made around the time Fearless cut them, certainly not a loss of key mebers as the label said, but I'll let bygones be bygones.), and Nate Spencer on Drums (Nate has recently been replaced by Dylan Taylor). All 5 members perform their roles well. The opening track, "Saturday Skin" is led by a strong guitar riff and nice drum beats. It's a great intro to the album, and Alex Roy's unique sounding vocals really stand out. The next song on the album, "She's a Bitch and I'm a Fool" (Or "SaB", for the sake of not typing that out 20 times) is by far the most popular song on the album. "SaB" is a song easy to relate to, and unlike the rest of the album, displays strong vocals. Lyrics like 'Felt like a movie/when you walked out slowly/stuck on repeat/during the last scene' and 'Why can't you see/when it meant everything to me?' are some of the best on the album. The opening line of the chorus, 'She's a Bitch and I'm a fool/I'm a fool she loves me not' is pretty great as well, although mostly because of the humor in it than anything else. However, outside of "SaB", the lyrics detract from WTIBCW, rather than help. In the song "The Weirdest Way," lyrics like 'Drove to your boyfriends house/to watch you undress yourself' and 'He puts his hands on you/the way that I used to' are just creepy. Also, there are times Alex Roy seems like he just rhyms the first two words that popped into his head. On the track "Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With," he attempts to rhyme Bow and Chateau. Roy's a good enough vocalist to make it work, but if you stop and think about it, the lyrics are just odd.
But don't ignore the album just because the vocals are mediocre. The guitar riffs and choruses in "Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With" (The song), "60 Minutes of Fame" (My personal favorite song on the album), and "SaB" are really quite epic. Hearing Roy blasting out the lyrics 'Loving you is the worst thing I've been cursed with!/Taking over my head and my verses' is something that makes me want to rock out with these dudes. A verse from Spose, the rapper behind "I'm Awesome," makes the song "Better Side of Me" fun to listen to. Sparks the Rescue also rewrote "Better Side of Me" in a song called "It's Great to Be Charlie Sheen," an iTunes exclusive. It's a very funny song, and shows the band's creative side. The only two songs I can honestly say I disliked on the album are "Vanities" and "Holiday." They are completely different than any other song. "Vanities is a much more indie-sounding song, not my thing, and "Holiday" just feels too upbeat for WTIBCW.
Overall, this is one of the better albums of 2011. Sparks the Rescue hit gold with songs like "SaB," "60 Minutes of Fame,"and "Saturday Skin." Despite a few bad apples, this is certainly an album you can't miss.
Good review. Personally, even as a huge Sparks fan from the first time I came upon "We Love Like Vampires", I wasn't too thrilled with this albums. I felt like the lyrics were very simple and sometimes just strange, and some of the songs just blended together. It took me some time to really actually start to enjoy this album, but now I'm liking it more (especially Thought You Were the One, the title track, and The Weirdest Way). Really hoping to see where the band goes with this upcoming EP!