Sparkler Bombs

If you didn't know better, you'd think Sparkler Bombs had just stepped out of a time machine dialed back to the period following the release of Modest Mouse's The Moon and Antarctica — at least that's the era the first three tracks of this EP recall, particularly the music's ability to be simultaneously headlong and introspective. The scintillating guitar work on "Electrik Citris" compares favorably with The Swing-era INXS while entirely avoiding that album's tendency toward conventional song structures. "Spain" starts out menacing enough, then moves into sweeping melodic passages that resemble something Sonic Youth might produce if that band went for dream-like innocence in its undertones. This set of seven songs is varied and eclectic, revealing that these guys aren't in a musical rut — and efforts to challenge themselves can be heard throughout.

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