7th April 2015 – Sargent House
01. The Liar
03. Santa Sangre
04. Southern Eye
07. Less Than
08. Love, Texas
Whilst legendary, Red Sparowes are hardly a band you’d called prolific – their last record came out in 2010 – and so it’s hardly surprising to find their members delving into other projects. Meet Marriages, the collaboration between bassist Greg Burns and guitarist Emma Ruth Rundle, and rounded outby drummer Andrew Clinco.
The results are magnificent. Following their debut EP Kitsune in 2012, the trio present Salome, a reelase that sees them flex their muscles both creatively and figuratively – and none more so than the lady at the head of the charge. Emma Ruth Rundle’s sublimely classic vocal had been almost criminally hidden in Red Sparowes, and it really is something special; its new wave and post-punk nuances are comparable to the likes of Siouxie Sioux, Bananarama‘s Siobhan Fahey or Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins - but whilst her voice skims all of these styles, it never sounds like any one alone.
This nine track outing is a perfect representation of everything a full debut should be. It packs the punch you’d expect from a band entushed with their beginnings, and the passion that seeps from each and every track is only eclipsed by the textures the trio have created in order to breathe life into the record.
Songs like “The Liar” and “Santa Sangre” are perfect representations of everything this band have going for them. The sparkling yet hazy production magnifies the delicately sweeping textures – textures that come contrasted by deliciously violent passages of swirling, heady delight. The Siouxie-esque vocal delivers a level of familiarity in “Salome” and “Love, Texas“. These tracks flirt between breathless shoegaze melancholy and intense stifle of post-rock. The result is spectacular.
The grand finale comes in the shape of “Contender“; a blend of everything this record has to give, brought together in one last assault on the senses. I have always been of the belief that the heaviness of a piece of music cannot be defined by the tunings, timings or an endless barrage of blast beats. This record is something that truly defines heavy; it’s heavy in texture, heavy in atmosphere and heavy in emotion.
One thing is certain however: this record happens to be one of the most impressive first albums I’ve come across in recent times, and from this I have a clear grasp of where the band are heading. I challenge anyone to listen to this record and not fall in love with this heavy yet tender melting pot of excellence.