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Sparkle In Grey - Mexico CD (album) cover


Sparkle In Grey


Post Rock/Math rock

3.99 | 10 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Sparkle In Grey are a group from Italy, a country which has produced a lot of great prog in recent years. This is their second album and the first I've heard. They were brought to my attention as a member of the Post Rock Team for which I voted for their inclusion. To my surprise, when I went to review this album Sparkle In Grey are now located in Prog Electronic. Oh well, PA can be a strange place sometimes. There are electronic elements here, as there are in a lot of post rock, but they never dominate. Instead there is a lot of violin on this album. The music here is the type of post rock I like the most: where a band has their own sound and diverse influences. Post Rock is not as one-dimensional as some make it out to be and I thought Mexico was one of the better post rock albums in recent years.

"Boys Vomit" is a song that was originally done by a group called Norm in 2000. I don't know anything about that group other than one of the members of Sparkle In Grey was also a member. The way the song is done here sounds like great post rock. "That One" has a nice buildup at the beginning, with instruments piling on top of each other. Spoken samples in this track. Really weird vibe to this song but it works. Sounds almost like two different songs playing at the same time: one an electronic track with a real drumkit added, and another a twangy rocker. I like the guitar strumming towards the end with the spoken samples. "From The Air" is a cover of the Laurie Anderson song. It keeps the vocoderized melody and overall beat of the original but otherwise if fairly different. The accent of the woman here does not sound Italian but rather Scandinavian. The beat eventually goes away and the drumming gets a little looser.

"Sunrising" has a muffled speech to an audience in Italian being overlaid with what sounds like some kind of horn. Electronic thuds and atmospherics abound until it turns into some kind of folky rock with violin. The speech comes back. "Dimissioni" begins with the electronic drone that ended the previous track. An electronic beat and then a nice folky melody on violin. Some lovely classical sounding piano later on. Gradually the electronic beats are replaced by a kick drum and the piano becomes more melancholic sounding. You hear the sound of a typewriter (remember those?) at the end and at the beginning of the title track. Said title track has a great dub reggae influence, yet another ingredient in early post rock that got discarded by later bands along the way. Nice wah-wah guitar and minimal piano.

Eventually the song gets looser and slightly jazzier before it changes to a sort of riff on guitar with more busy drumming. Later on some acoustic guitar, piano and trumpet make some lovely sounds. Such a great post rock song from 2011. Love it. "Phennel Song" opens with coins being spun then some great mournful violin leads a march. Almost sounds like a chamber-rock waltz. You hear glass break along the way. You can hear what sounds like either bagpipes or an accordion in the background. Overall a great album with great sound and compositions. I like this album since I first heard it last year but I never got around to reviewing it until now. If you like the more diverse and experimental end of post rock you should enjoy this. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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