All of Something out October 30th via Father/Daughter Records.
It is with a distinct sense of humor and a nod to the bildungsroman that central Ohio college-buddies-turned-band, SPORTS have taken on in production of their second album, All of Something. This was an interesting LP to review because, while the sound is simple and fairly high tempo (all aspects I usually appreciate), it fluctuates lyrically between a sense of jolly wonderment and naive self-indulgence. On first listen, SPORTS seem to have crafted an album that is definitely for the kids. Not like, children though, more the young adult still wading through the first uncertain tiptoes into post-collegiate adulthood without the realization that each trouble passes and breakups happen to pretty much everybody. The mundane is also made a wonder in this album, as SPORTS peppers angst and lonely musing with considerations of wasted weekends, lost socks, and appliances used to do the laundry.
Vocally, SPORTS is a group that plays in a dubious place with Carmen Perry howling in a femme-grunge deadpan that might be grating if it was not presented/recorded with such a stylized approach. A little more “interesting and weird” than mesmerizing, tracks such as “Get Bummed” or “Harder” are a good place to sample her odd ranges. Occasionally Dwyer is accompanied by Jack Washburn, an interesting addition who vocally doesn’t really do much to hide a very American Emo-whine, but when coupled Perryr’s weird tonal wondering, SPORTS can somehow pull it all off. However awkward at times, the vocal approach does seems to fit well into their overall subject matter (contemplations of growing up and losing love and the like). Also, SPORTS doesn’t seem to be making much of an effort to take themselves seriously, so it’s rather easy to acknowledge their vocal stylings with a tolerant grin, shrug, and eyeroll acceptance.
All Of Something is also an album which seems to fully embrace a distinctly stripped down, and militantly rehearsed cohesion. The drums exist to catch ears, elicit head-nods, and facilitate hip shakes, not to impress with arrangement beyond brisk timing. The bass work is in much the same vein- competent, but nothing extreme. Tracks such as “Getting On in Spite of You”(which, incidentally, is also a standout track for me off this LP) wield some pretty fun guitar moments with near-surf rock appeal .
SPORTS is rather lucky to have worked with a DIY maverick, as they were able to record with Philadelphia native, Kyle Gilbride (a facilitator for Overblown favorite, Girlpool), who is becoming quite well known for his approach for crafting catchy lo-fi familiar pop punk and indie noise. It shows too – the sound is pretty regulated and adaptable for any kind of speaker set, it’s pretty clean and the tracks are all handled with a certain compassion for the genre.
All in all, SPORTS has created something pretty endearing in All Of Something, it’s catchy, not too serious, and just jolly enough for most to enjoy (that is of course if you can get past some of those vocals though…) a bit of DIY Midwestern brightness this October.