Murderopolis is a beast full of rage and reminiscence, the new album from Glasgow trio Sparrow and the Workshop is a macabre collection of bold alt rock and sombre distorted melodies setting us up for a balancing act of defiant swagger and soul searching introversion simultaneously.
Opener ‘Valley of Death’ slinks through the stereo, self assured and powerful, creating something deeper and more complex than the bands previous outings.
The melodies of the strings creep into your conscious, combining elements of pop with all the lurking intent of The Killing Moon.
As Muderopolis progresses, Sparrow and the Workshop build on both the acoustic and garage influences of their earlier albums.
This raises their folk tinged take on grunge to new levels, combining the power of the older albums with a more deft touch, melding elemental riffs with haunting vocal harmonies that soar above.
There is a ferocity that breaks through this record, exemplified with the crashing waves of ‘The Faster’ to the brazenly stomping riffs of ‘The Faster You Spin’.
These snarling songs revel in their anger and are the highlights of the album and when everything clashes together it creates space for reflective ballads like ‘Odessa’ to bring us back down to earth.
The album does tend to meander as it progresses, struggling slightly to sustain some of that initial energy and momentum.
Although Sparrow and the Workshop have achieved the feeling of creating much more than just a collection of songs and the delicate acoustic touches and powerful vocals of ‘Autumn to Winter’ build to a great crescendo on which Murderopolis brings it all home.
Word: Steven Penman