19 Feb 2019

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Sparrow Thieves - The Sparrow Thieves EP Review

21 Aug 2013 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Mate! What was that!? I was just sitting here reviewing a CD and this band just came out of nowhere and smacked me around the chops.  

Until today, I must admit, I had never heard of The Sparrow Thieves, and I feel like I’ve been missing out.

Perhaps it’s because most of the South Island, especially Invercargill, is largely ignored by us Northerners, or perhaps because it’s hard for unsigned gems like the Sparrow Thieves to spread the word from so far south. 

Whatever the reason, I feel for the people that haven’t heard their self-titled EP yet.

The music is minimalistic; a bit of guitar, bit of keys, a splash of drums, some low-key effects. Nothing too flashy, but the music doesn’t need it. It’s not that kind of music. 

It’s easy to fake a soul with a fancy studio. Stripped of its sugary coating, you see the candy cane you’re listening to is a walking stick. With the Sparrow Thieves it’s like you’re sitting there in the room with them as they play. And these guys have soul.

At times the style is influenced by that of Jack White, especially the track Halfway to Nothing. It’s kind of American Indie Rock, gritty slide guitar with the illusion of lo-fi. The next track Dead Leaves in a Summer Breeze is the same, only with a mesmerising snake charmer-like riff. You wouldn’t know this bunch of youngins has had no formal musical training.

And beneath the Indie Rock veneer are lyrics that touch on the philosophical and spiritual. My favourite lines are from the chorus of the ending track Anatta. “Twenty, maybe Twenty Three. There could be Thirty Four of us.” Confusing to some, but to me a humorous reflection on the Buddhist concept of a body holding not one seamless soul, but a stream of them.

The Sparrow Thieves eponymous EP is available for purchase or stream through their Bandcamp (thesparrowthieves.bandcamp.com) and iTunes. Highly recommended for fans of the early work of the White Stripes and Southern Americana.

And boys of the Sparrow Thieves; take your record and stick it in an envelope and send it to every radio station in both the North and South. Radio Southland is great, but you can do better than that.


About The Sparrow Thieves

After ripping the tendons off his middle finger while playing out a rugby contract in Scotland, Wax ventured to the South of France to drown his sorrows. Inspired by the buskers and artists throughout the region, he drunkenly phoned his cousin Fiz, an industrious plumber back home in New Zealand, and asked whether he would be keen to have a crack at some original music.

"Yeah. Yeah I would," Fiz replied.

As Fiz began toying with some early riffs, Wax put pen to pad in the Scottish Borders. Upon his arrival back in New Zealand, local bridging manager Anton Dickens and lawyer Elliott Mitchell would form the final two pieces of the jigsaw.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Sparrow Thieves


The Sparrow Thieves
Year: 2013
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Peter-James Dries

EP Review: Feildings Best Dancers
12 Dec 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
In the words of your mum, Feildings Best Dancers is short, hard, and over far too soon. But she also said Thistle Highland Dancers were the best dancers in Feilding, so what does she know.
Craig Payne - Album Review: Good News
05 Nov 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
Come one, come all. Roll up and step inside the time machine of Payne.
Otium - EP Review: You
03 Oct 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
I’m usually reluctant to go too deep into music that on the surface seems shallow, or popular. Reading that this was reggae/funk hybrid band that sung on love initially made me shrivel.
Social Shun - Album Review: Somewhere Between Hate and Muffins
24 Sep 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
Somewhere Between Hate and Muffins: An experiment-like review for an experimental album. Observations Muffins: Warm.
Aaron Carpenter and The Revelators - EP Review: Roll with the Punches
20 Aug 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
The last bastions of real music in a world that celebrates mediocrity are the minnows swimming against the current of the mainstream.   What is the mainstream nowadays?
Brendan Pyper - Single Review: No Strings Attached
07 Jul 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
I think we have this decade’s Daniel Bedingfield on our hands. Diversifying his portfolio, The Latest Fallout’s Brendan Pyper has just released his debut single, in the process seemingly leaving his Pop Rock ways behind.
Tess Goodwin - Single Review: Grace
07 Jul 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
In this world of instant gratification, something can be said about a song that can make you feel, even if that feeling is longing. Longing, usually a feeling with negative connotations, is something you miss out on when you can binge watch an entire show or listen to a musician’s whole discography.
Emily Fairlight - Album Review: Mother of Gloom
03 May 2018 // by Peter-James Dries
Autumn at dusk. Sitting in a bay window, knees to chin, wrapped in sweatered arms.
View All Articles By Peter-James Dries

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • 7 RINGS
    Ariana Grande
    Ariana Grande
    Billie Eilish
  • WOW.
    Post Malone
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
    Ariana Grande
    Ava Max
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
    Sam Smith And Normani
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem