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Red Sparowes / Press

“If there's any band out there that can make post-rock romantic, and yet overwhelming, with a punishing intensity at the same time, it's Red Sparowes.”

“Red Sparowes’ latest offering, The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer, is a psychedelic and melody-rich instrumental joy ride. Red Sparowes create the thinking man’s voiceless tunes, throttled by emotions and experience.”

“The best bands always seem to defy convention, and Red Sparowes certainly falls into that category. There is nothing predictable about the music on The Fear is Excruciating.”

“This album makes obvious that lineup changes didn’t mess up Red Sparowes’ creative energy; this is great and fully rounded piece of superb, monumental music. a 9 out of 10”

“the band’s third full-length album, which sees the band up the ante in almost every way, thanks in no small part to the production work of Toshi Kasai (Liars and Tool). The resulting sound is classic Red Sparowes – the combination of huge, interwoven guitars and supremely tight rhythms – pushed out with a widescreen sheen that takes them far beyond the level of their previous albums.”

“The production is huge and clear making place for band to emphasize changes in dynamics and helping them make a small story out of each and every song. This is meant to be played out loud :)”

“By the time closing track ‘As Each End Looms And Subsides’ has gently wrapped you in its cocoon of storytelling guitar ambience and drum destruction, you realise that an hour has passed whereby you have thought nothing of your troubles and worries, and simply stood in a moment of being; being alive with yourself, being engrossed in the fantasy of what could be, and being in love with music.”

“The third album from the post-rock champs picks right up where they left off – which is basically as one of the few bands who make their particular genre, one that’s dominated by dramatic instrumental tension and crushing rock crescendos, feel inexhaustible rather than thoroughly tapped out.”

“The album is a study in contrast. Serene introductions and luxuriant panoramas give way to anxiety fueled lightning storms of harried complexity.”

“The band contrasts majestic track elements against one another in a showering display of well-composed feeling, before quickly dropping off into a Kid A coldness that feels like a perfect reversal of the mood switch on “Illusions.” The fervent and jagged punch of the song’s climax raises bumps on the back of one’s neck—overall, it's an incredible single.”

“After spending the whole album being grateful for the band’s refusal to adhere to post-rock predictability, my spirits were lifted here when the Sparowes ripped off a potential climax only to circle back around and top it tenfold.”

“Red Sparowes' latest, The Fear is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer, is their best recording to date, an expressionistic opus that spans a range of music and emotion”

"The Fear Is Excrutiacing But Therein Lies The Answer" is, all in all, an exciting experience - as time goes by and new ideas emerge, Red Sparowes solidifies its position in the post-rock scene.

“There’s something endearingly pretentious about a band which doesn’t give a f**k about convention, commercialism or commonality and Red Sparowes is that band. This sprawling instrumentalscape belongs in a different era, or at least on some 70s gangland film score, but it’s infuriatingly addictive with its bombastic effect and intricate arrangements.”

"A Hail of Bombs" comes on like a lurking giant; slow and quiet first but inevitably pummeling. Combine their typically fist-clenched intensity with a cascading melody and you've got one of the L.A. staples' very best yet.

Track Review - A Hail Of Bombs - E Music

“They create multiple levels of sonic artistry that build upon each other until finally, they all come crashing down. The vast sections of music are meant for listeners to get lost in for hours at a time, and the Red Sparowes accomplish this effortlessly.”

“And while the allusion to cinematic soundtracks is inevitable, and not altogether inaccurate for the entire soundscape here is intensely visceral, calling to mind all sorts of images, as with the heroic list noted from the press release above, the individual songs do evoke a distinct emotional narrative that you can interpret as you like. This is the hallmark of not only great music, but visual art as well. Why spoon-feed your audience? Art that allows for audience participation in the form of open interpretation stands the test of time.”

“A swarming, enveloping torrent of guitars; a crashing tidal wave of drums; a wordless might. Red Sparowes — comprised of members from bands like Isis, Halifax Pier, and Angel Hair — make a relentless brand of post-rock and their third album, The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer is its boldest yet.”

Fear Is Excrutiating Album Review - E Music

“It’s a beautiful album that takes all the best from old and expands to create something new and unique. This is one record that should not be missed. I commend you, Red Sparowes.”

“it’s a solely instrumental soundscape, substituting the subtleties of tweaks in tonal colour and volume for the overt gestures and statements more usually associated with rock vocalists. The end result is a seamless sonic journey across terrain both bleak and beautiful.”

“Fear never seems to wander. Every melodic turn seems to have a laser like focus on creating chilling and eerie atmospheres, wisely avoiding the temptation to veer into the realm of full-blown menace. Pointed, intricate, and above all, thoroughly enjoyable, Fear is a welcome return for Red Sparowes, and arguably their best work to date.”

“The Fear is an extraordinarily melodic and impressively grand work from one of the most evocative bands in heavy post-rock. Already a massive sonic experience, expect this new material to expand exponentially live, when paired with fresh updates of their stirring visuals.”

“The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer captures the minds of its listeners and guides them through an accepted and well-realized world of death and destruction while beauty bears all of the weight.”

“what really shines here is the new, welcome fullness of the production, courtesy of Melvins/Tool producer Toshi Kasai. This is Sparowes in widescreen, and it brings the band to a level previously unimaginable.”

“The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer (*exhale*) is the Sparowes’ third full-length. It finds the Los Angeles band going bigger, more epic, and a bit more metal, which isn’t surprising given the gang’s ‘six degrees of post rock’ connections to sister groups like Halifax Pier and Isis. The crushing three-guitar lineup of Bryant Clifford Meyer, Emma Ruth Rundle and Andy Arahood means the layers here are piled high, very high, while the comfortable muscle of the Greg Burns/David Clifford rhythm section remains airtight and lethal, one of the best bass-and-drums duos in the post-rock game.”

“There is a range of complexity here that reflects the breadth of human emotion. The Fear… has an almost Expressionistic quality to it. You owe yourself a good listen with this one.”

“Unlike previous efforts however, the focus here is more on the song than the overarching album. This lends greater individuality to each composition and makes the record move along like high-impact short stories rather than the contemplative crawl of a novel. But when you’re one of post-rock’s most cohesive outfits with a mastery of arc like the Sparowes, that means complete instrumental narratives, condensed into each track rather than be compromised.”

“This is a progressive piece which undulates and turns unexpected corners. Meyer and co evoke here, moods which can change suddenly, with rollercoaster swiftness, but manage to return to established themes that mature over time, magnified by every listen.”

“Hypnotic guitars and spacey, more ethereal sounds dominate this record: Red Sparowes lack a singer, but turn this into their greatest strength through their use of strong instrumentation.”

“You certainly get a sense of symphony about it. There is genuine grandeur from the outset, but the production is clean and lacking in needleless pomp. This album intrigues so much by way of shade and tone from the outset and by the end you realise you have witnessed something truly special.”

“After three years away, L.A. instrumental rockers Red Sparowes reemerge this week with a third album of titanic expression, and their signature, compelling artistry remains untouched.”

“The instruments work together to put forth a wall-of-sound the same way the London Symphony Orchestra would.”

“Have you ever just put on music and allowed your thoughts to wander? Music that allows for that kind of environment is relatively uncommon in mainstream music, which is why Red Sparowes’ newest album, “The Fear is Excruciating but therein Lies the Answer”, is such a treat. Just be warned: this isn’t music you drive to work with, this is music you set time aside for.”

“The thickness and grooves are key elements, but Greg Burns’ pedal-steel guitar again steals the spotlight. The mix has resulted in the band’s finest album, one in which Red Sparowes best establishes its own voice — further distancing itself from the comparisons to Isis and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.”

“Red Sparowes’ 4th studio release delivers across the board well beyond expectations. The complex progression and dynamic energy in this album is so fluid, so precise yet natural, you’re almost forced to believe it’s a living, breathing, sonic force. Add to that the chameleon qualities of this album and its ability to fit any mood you’re in. One song can either help you celebrate great joy or reaffirm you through a brooding depression. This kind of flexibility convinces me that if ever a soundtrack for my life could be written, I’d want Red Sparowes masterminding the project.”

“Red Sparowes are a band that have always had their feet on the ground musically while stretching their arms into the stratosphere and beyond to always deliver consistency as well as contemplative experimentation.”

“Red Sparowes' knack for knowing when to hold something back is what ultimately gives their third full-length release longevity and intrigue.”

“Red Sparowes' taste for layered and trailing guitar parts reaches an early peak with "Hail of Bombs," luring you in with the prospect of something that sounds like an epic slice of a movie soundtrack. ”

“It's plainly and simply fucking momentous.”

“Like usual, resplendent melodies — courtesy of pedal-steel guitar as well as echoes and reverberations — top snare rolls and layers of harmony. On past albums, these movements have built to crescendos, but The Fear… more commonly alternates this with mountainous low end and steady, pounding rhythms.”

“This Weeks Best Releases Week of April 5th 2010”