The Marching Band – Spark Large
Cracking LP this, Spark Large is very widescreen in its scope and application, and very warm in its overall feeling. It’s got a big Sufjan Stevens vibe to it, which is never a bad thing, especially the opening set of tracks, starting with For Your Love (though it somehow pulls off some Springsteen-style chord shapes at one point).
I like the gentle breezy nature of this LP; Gorgeous Behaviour and Travel in Time are dreamy song swirls par excellence, especially with the ever so slightly Bhundu Boys guitar line and the piano lines respectively underpinning the two songs. And check out the archly ethereal Make No Plans, which tries (and pulls off) the same repeat-harmony trick as God Only Knows.
The one track that grates is the Emo-esque Special Treatment which goes far too far into wimp territory for my liking, but luckily the following two tracks, the poppy It Could Never and the rampant teenage heartache of Everything more than make up.
And anyway, that’s a minor grumble. If you fancy a gentle breezy, uplifting listen, you’ll do a lot worse than listen to this LP.
Words: Richard Foster