Somewhere amongst the early nineties a genre shot from obscurity and became an iconic sound, a staple in the heavy metal library, a metal genre that known as Industrial Metal. Spawning some of the biggest bands of our modern times, many have come and gone through the genre taking elements of the style and building their own sub-genres and redefining the sound. In 2018 a rarity, a Perth born act called Sparrow who have released their five track EP titled ‘Digital People’.
This EP compared to their previous album ‘Deathpop’ sounds almost worlds away at times. Described by vocalist Sean Hendry as “Darker, dirtier, grittier, a bit of a curveball. Exploring our darker influences and playing with some really industrial dirty tones. The new record is us, bare bones, exposed and ugly”.
A fitting description with its assembly of elements all coalescing to create a beautiful industrial sound, this album honestly takes you on a time travel journey straight back to glory days of your favourite nineties era industrial sounds and memories of some of my favourite industrial bands.
After my first listen through my impressions were of a strong nineties industrial vibe with nostalgia creeping through my system with so many immediate iconic influences piercing through each track. Anthemic, pulsating fast paced tracks doing amazing things in the short 20 something minute EP. An industrial sound that you may not have heard in Australia since the early 2000’s, the band represent the genre well and continue to carry the torch for the genre from similar Australian bands like Jerk, or more recently efforts such as the talented band Darkcell.
The single titled Red, is a video in the animation style of the Gorillaz, but with a unique theme and storyline throughout the video clip. The track provides the soundtrack to a visual stunning piece, telling the story of a person’s wish to go on a one-way trip to Mars.
Below is brief dissection of each track from the album;
Track One – World Wide Divide
The introductory track sets their tone for the album with its clearly stated strong influences, reminiscent of early Marilyn Manson, shades of Static X and the classic nineties sounds. A rolling drum intro leads into a trading between gritty background vocals mixed with a clean powerful themed driven lead vocal. A strong start to the album, no warm up necessary, and the band strikes a chord with the listener immediately.
Track Two – Red
Immediate mental triggers of a vocal sound in the style of a John Davis-esque and then paired with a Nine Inch Nails instrumental mid-section. Bold moves and styles taken so early in the album deliver a huge punch to your face very early in Sparrow’s repertoire give the listener a huge surprise. A quality single for the band to release to the world to identify who Sparrow are to the world!
Track Three – Hate Eater
This song will definitely be labelled as a crowd pleaser, with its ascending introduction, rhythmic guitars, a demanding and controlling vocal deliverance. Hate Eater holds the listener on edge with gripping guitars that release the listener for short intense breaks. A track that consolidates the album’s solid industrial style.
Track Four – Wolf In Sheepskin
A track following the intensity delivered from its predecessors, four minutes of powerful drumming intertwined with cascading vocal changes throughout makes a strong case for top track on the ‘Digital People’ album. The track maintains the fast-paced style for the album is a strong earworm for the listener. Some huge basslines, crushing drum tracks, layered vocals, a hard to fault track.
Track Five – Digital People
A huge closer to the album, the title track delivers an anthemic sound with lyrical story telling entangled with exploration of dark modern societal concepts. The track takes a slight tangent with the pace and tone but still packs a punch with its edgy groove style and will be certain to keep listeners satisfied.
Sparrows energy and intensity throughout ‘Digital People’ displays a dynamic mix through five intense and creative songs. A good teaser leaving you interested in where their next release will branch out to with their new darker style, lyrically diverse approaches and their high-energy musicianship. Make sure to keep an eye out for Sparrows as they are definitely a force soon to be recognised throughout Australia.