Having never listened to Few Bits before, I did my due diligence and found out from previous reviewers that Few Bits fell firmly under the alternative rock banner. So I thought I had good reason, with an album title like Big Sparks, to expect some sort of explosive musical display. Instead, the album’s sparks are few and far between. They’re more the sparks of a bonfire than fireworks. I guess if I had to tell you what to expect: think twilight, slightly hazy, slightly blurry indie.
Big Sparks isn’t hype music, nor really, aside from Summer Sun, an album with stand out songs. It’s field-filling easy-listening. Summer Sun introduces us to the dream aesthetic of the album. It’s the most melodic and straightforward track of the album. The following tracks have more gravel and seem to let the vocals fall victim to the instrumental wall.
Considering the album as a whole, it has a pretty uniform tone and temper. The merits of a well-knitted album are obvious: no tracks feel like they’re just there as filler and everything is pleasant to listen to. The danger, though, with such a coherent album, is that the music becomes rather repetitive.
And, if there are any qualms to have with Big Sparks as an album, it’s that its aesthetic melts into a shimmering haze. The whole album begins to feel like a dream that’s lasted a bit too long, a dream where you’re caught in a rather lovely secret garden but you’re still waiting for someone to arrive, for something to happen, for teapots to fall down and tiny fairy cakes to blossom, but then you wake up and it’s all over after it’s barely begun.
Few Bits deserve kudos. For a band with 200 or so followers on twitter, and 2000 or so likes on Facebook they’ve produced an album that outperforms far more established artists. With that said, this isn’t an album that moves out of one rather specific comfort zone.