21 Oct 2018
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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

Releases

The Sparrow Thieves
Year: 2013
Type: EP

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