Saturday, May 24, 2008

Review: Spark is a Diamond, "Try This On For Size"

Spark is a Diamond
"Try This On For Size"
(Pluto/East West)

Former Come Widdit band, Spark is a Diamond's new debut album, "Try This On For Size," is one of those few records that rides the thin line of really great and mediocre. For bands who chronically suffer from this (such as Comeback Kid and Rise Against) all it takes is one song and for Spark is a Diamond that song is "____ ____ Has a Deathwish."

Early on in their 24 minute debut, Spark is a Diamond comes running out at the gates. The band's well constructed and well produced tracks like "Check Your Lease, You're In Fuck City" and "Try This On For Size" are exciting and fresh enough to make anyone a believer. The steam tends to run out by the time you hit their cover of Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It," but make no mistake, this is still a very solid album.

For all the trappings that could turn them into another run-of-the-mill hipster hardcore band, Spark is a Diamond is great at writing songs and it shows all over "Try This On For Size." The vocal back-and-forth between singer Alison Bellavance and guitarist Matt Boylan are often well-timed and band's inclusion of electronic effects makes you forget that there is no bass player [1]. All in all "Try This On For Size" is a strong record and I'm interested in seeing what the band has up their sleeves in the future.

[1] Probably because I'm a bass player, but I have issues with most bass-less bands, except for these kids; they actually work better without one.

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