Bizarre and perplexing with a quirky mood
The infamous Sparks brothers duo, Ron and Russell Mael, have officially released their 24th album returning with A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip that brings an invigorating energy of pumped new-wave/ synth-wave. Renowned for their theatrically inventive unique sound spanning over a fifty-year long career, the duo shows no loss or regression of this innate talent to produce some of the world’s quirkiest music to date.
But to a younger generation whom may not or have little recollection of this historic duo, it is essential to focus the spotlight on the Sparks brothers most recent works such as their 2017 album Hippopotamus and their 2015 collaboration with the infamous group Franz Ferdinand forming their supergroup called FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) that received must appraise during their time together. Recent appraise is not the only for the Sparks, for fans of the era that spawned much of the core values and mechanics of music writing for today’s indie scene, the ’80s, Sparks have been given shout outs from large acts such as The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Erasure, Depeche Mode, New Order, Duran Duran, and stretching well into the ’90s to the current day.
Focusing the spotlight back to A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip, the album is something rather consistent with their other works in the sense that everything is always inventive and pushing the barriers of the musical world. Opening with its chantful rhythmic track “All That” a lighter uplifting tune that’ll keep you chanting alongside, “all that we’ve done/ we’ve lost, we’ve won/ all that, all that and more/ all that we’ve seen/ we’ve heard, we’ve dreamed/ all that, all that and more.”
Striking the match with a fist full of punk combined with their acclaimed quirks “I’m Toast” comes in second on the album with hard guitar riffs and chanting grungy vocals for a three-minute punky experience. If you were ever fascinated by the interesting history of the prestigious yard equipment, the lawnmower, look no further. Ron Mael might as well be your new Masterclass professor giving you an in-depth history experience with no exams and assignments required for “Lawnmower.” If you ever needed that kicking motivation to get off your couch and mow your lawn throw this track on and just remember, “your lawn will be a showstopper, showstopper/ your lawn will be a jaw-dropper, jaw-dropper.”
With mesmerizing harmonizing and catchy keyboards “Sainthood Is Not In Your Future” brings a theatrical tune to the empathetic and insulting vocals of, “wherefore art thou so nasty/ I thought of you as so classy,” that aims to please through a ‘talking shit’ experience. Drowning synths and saddened keyboards make for a perplexing performance in “Pacific Standard Time” that is as surreal and majestic as the region of the Pacific Northwest is.
“Stravinsky’s Only Hit” draws inspiration upon the famous 19th-century Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, widely renowned for the ballet orchestral song “The Rite of Spring” that plays fun at the life of Stravinsky. Fast guitar strumming and depressing lyrics make for a cold and chilling experience in “Left Out In The Cold” with use Ron’s surreal keyboarding to compile the mood and tune together.
Being hard on yourself has never sounded better as “Self-Effacing” takes point with wonky synths and quirky vocals that’ll make for a strange uplifting melody. “One For The Ages” gives an empathetic tone with contrasting uplifting melodic keyboards that make for a quick four-minute jam out.
Eccentric and bizarre vocals “Onomata Pia” is quirky in its outlandish melody whose title plays upon the word onomatopoeia that comes out with the use of rhyme that compliments the melody excellently it compares to that of a nursery rhyme. Drawing upon the rude act of paying attention to your phone rather than listening to whom is speaking “iPhone” displays the burning hatred and anger that arises upon such a situation with that hard-hitting line, “Put your fucking iPhone down and listen to me.”
Screaming a message of “Please don’t fuck up our world/so much now is depressing.” “Please Don’t Fuck Up My World” is angelic uplifting tune with a contrasting message that is clear and understanding that makes for an excellent outro.
With so many years under their belt performing inventing melodies with their eccentric aesthetic, the Sparks have struck gold once more as they’ve done so many times before which brings credibility to the appraisal they’ve received over the many years.