Fireworks

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Sparkling Bombs - 'Spray Paint Prayers' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2d/ae/29/458_SparklingBombsSprayPaintPrayers_1281725582.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 13, 2010    
 
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Glam-laden style triumphs over substance in this impeccable slice of power-pop.

Borrowing heavily from the Manic Street Preachers and 70s rock, the Sparkling Bombs deal in the sort of fare frequently splashed across the crisp pages of NME magazine. Listenable cuts of Britpop, rock and a whisper of Bowie combine to create an infectious cocktail of mainstream music. Generous lashings of guyliner and angsty, androgynous vocals provide the finishing touches to the Bombs’ trendy celebration of the hippest names in rock.
Drowned in a seemingly endless sequence of tranquil guitars, ‘Spray Paint Prayers’ delivers an unsuccessful stab at eccentricity. Just a few minutes in, its colourless riffs reveal a samey sound quality that infuses the whole album with signature, but boringly inexpressive melodies. Fronted by the effeminate tones of Alyss, the Sparkling Bombs will provoke inevitable comparisons with Placebo, but the dreary caterwauling presented here is a poor substitute for Brian Molko’s inimitable vocal talents. Still, ‘…Prayers’ is not without its interesting features, as illustrated by the more abrasive ‘Purple Bubble Boogie’ and ‘Boredom Legacy’s’ spookily distorted chord progressions. Though spiked with dark, multi-textured riffing, these quirkier titles never escape the realms of digestible pop.
Tailor-made for easy listening, the Bombs’ contagious sound is wrapped up in synth-driven glamour, enhancing their dreamy fretting with a hint of psychedelia. Alyss’ mournful vocals marry perfectly with the guitar’s equally melancholic pitch, producing a seamless brand of alternative rock. ‘Birthday’ is a particularly catchy number, boasting a tuneful fusion of shoegaze-inspired guitars and soaring vocal harmonies. While distinctly rockier in texture and pace, ‘Beauty Hides The Lies’ demonstrates a similarly meek, lacklustre tone. Furthermore, the word ‘glitter’ is annoyingly overused throughout the album, enforcing the decorative nature of this release. But for all its sleek, pop trappings, ‘…Prayers’ remains a mind-numbingly one-note record.

Faye Coulman

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