Dark Sparks are a curious bunch: falsetto vocals compete with silly guitar solos without the end result ever straying into Darkness territory, with Muse an all-too obvious influence.

Sheffield isn’t exactly where you would guess the band to come from. There’s no knowing pop pastiche as found in Arctic Monkeys and the Long Blondes and there’s no carefully crafted couplets from Pulp or Richard Hawley.

This is the kind of band that Grammatics paved the way for. Deliberately overblown and with far too much going on, it’s hard to love them although the songs are perfectly listenable.

The nonsensical lyrics of ‘We Are Just Flies’ cover up what is actually a thrilling ride, once it gets going. Guitars and drums come crashing in midway through the song and for a while it’s quite exciting, until the repeated lyrics just get too annoying and the vocal begins to grate too.

‘Crying in the Spotlight’ begins with an almost chord-for-chord recollection of ‘Paradise City’ by Guns n’ Roses before turning into another messy sub-Editors piece of dark electronic rock.

There is potential in Dark Sparks, but there’s a long way to go yet.

This review was written for Muso’s Guide.

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