Review by Shannon Shumaker
Sparrows Dragging Hell is a much needed and welcome change of pace. While it seems that the emo revival has been growing and gaining a lot of momentum over the past few months and years, there has been a distinct lack of artists that sound like Sparrows do on this EP, which is reminiscent of Thursday’s 2000 release, Waiting. Needless to say, the sound on Dragging Hell is something that many artists aren’t touching on right now, and that’s what makes it such a strong four song release.
As soon as the raw vocals on “References to the Dead” kick in, emotion runs high, and it’s like a breath of fresh air. The song is somber, but it certainly doesn’t simply stay on one level throughout all five minutes. Starting off slower, the thing that stands out the most about the beginning of the track is the beautiful vocals and harmonies. But as the song continues to grow and explode, every instrument works together to really make it feel like it’s breathing. About three minutes into the song, it slows down, carried primarily by beautiful, soft guitar work before exploding into a strong and big ending. By the time that “References to the Dead” comes to an end, I’m more than excited to see where Sparrows take the other three songs on this EP
Dragging Hell is the perfect title for this somber EP. Harmonies and passionate vocal runs are emotional and raw alongside strong guitar work and effortless tempo changes. As the EP moves forward, it’s apparent that these songs don’t conform to usual song structures. Most tracks clock in at over five minutes in length, with “Our Father The Failure” at six minutes in length. “Our Father The Failure” is also one of the strongest songs on the EP, as it goes from explosive and big to slow and emotional within seconds.
The only real downside on Dragging Hell is that these emotional tracks tend to have very similar sounds and moods. However, there are definitely little moments that set each song apart from one another, as well. “Hit The Kill Switch And Silence The Storm,” for instance, does sound quite a bit brighter in the guitar work and drumming than the rest of the EP. The chorus is also a little more upbeat than the songs that come before it, all while keeping the same theme and mood as the rest of the EP. “It’s Always Sunny In Bramalea” also provides an energetic and aggressive final track, supplemented by multiple vocal parts, strong guitar work and some incredible bass parts.
Dragging Hell is a breath of fresh air, but also holds a hint of nostalgia. While this album will definitely hit home with fans of Thursday or even AFI, it is definitely something fresh and new, as well. Each track on Dragging Hell holds the same mood and emotion, but while remaining strong and unique in its own way, be it with incredible tempo changes, beautiful guitar and bass work, or stunning vocals. Dragging Hell is a beautiful release from Sparrows, and one can only imagine how this band will continue to grow with a future full-length.
Listen to "Our Father The Failure"
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