Spark The Forest | facebook | bandcamp |
This Chicago-based bedroom band Spark The Forest recently releases their debut self-titled EP . Just looking at the title and cover art, I knew I was in for a ride heavily influenced by If These Trees Could Talk. It’s not like If These Trees Could Talk is a bad band. On the contrary, Red Forest is one of my go-to albums for introducing people to post-rock, and it seems to work more often than not. However. now they’ve become so influential among up and coming post-rock projects, you learn you can only handle so much.
Spark the Forest definitely shows signs of this influence, but he also makes his own sounds heard from the very beginning. The way he builds up ‘The Earth’s Foundations’ makes for one of the best intros I’ve heard in a long while. One of my problems with this album is that this is the only real crescendo of the entire album. The whole album just goes quiet to loud and vice verse like a flip of the switch; there’s no real middle ground, no exercise in dynamics. Sometimes it’ll be quiet with layers being added, but it inevitably leads to a very predictable wall of sound, and it honestly makes for a rather boring listening experience. Sometimes a sudden and unexpected twist is what’s need to keep the listener’s attention. This album lacks that completely.
Aside from the composition, another major problem for me is the bass guitar. It’s too simplistic, elementary even. It plainly follows along with the guitar, and never really stands out at all. You can hear it just fine, but it never shines, which is important to post-rock and music in general. It’s really not that hard to write at least one good riff for the bass and let it shine for a good thirty seconds, is it?
It also bugs me how similar this is to If These Trees Could Talk’s Red Forest LP. The mere mentioning of Forest was a tipoff from the get-go, as I said before, and the cover art looks remarkably similar. I understand that mimicry is a sincere form of flattery, but in the end it can only weigh you down. Spark The Forest would do well to shed these similarities in days to come.
Overall, I like this album. The sound itself is solid, the recording quality is definitely adequate, but there is a lot of room for improvement. There’s a lot of ground to cover for them to be a remarkable band, but I know they can do it.