After I closed the 2023 album review coverage with The Green Machine by Fiddler’s Green, Irish folk rock from Germany, Irish music is also kicking off the new music year 2024. However, the band Sprints are really in fact an Irish band. The garage punk band from Dublin is releasing their debut album Letter To Self on 5th January 2024. I had a listen.
Sprints – About The Artists
The Sprints are an Irish punk rock / garage punk quartet. Karla Chubb is the lead singer and songwriter of the band. Her bandmates are Colm O’Reilly (guitar), Jack Callan (drums) and Sam McCann (bass). Despite they have just been formed in 2019, they had quite a lot of success already. Apart from two EP releases (in 2021 and 2022), the band also had quite some successful concert appearances. There will also be European tour appearances soon (see below).
Sprints – Letter To Self – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 40 minutes.
The three minute opener is named Ticking – and in fact the drums are “ticking” at the beginning of this song. The Irish go for a dramatic, slowly increasing opener, before the core part of the song kicks off after roughly one minute – and turns into a blast. Nice punk rocker with howling guitar and a memorable plot.
If you base your expectations about the second song on the character of Ticking, you expect Heavy incepting with a guitar blast. However, the Sprints go for a similar plot like in the song before and first lead into the story of the story, before the energy is almost exploding in the chorus. Kara Chubb has a nice touch for a good plot of her songs.
The first moments of Cathedral already feel dark. The grunge touch of the Dublin quartet becomes very obvious, as well as the band’s talent for very dramatic songwriting.
4. Shaking Their Hands
While many songs of the album present a gap between the stanzas and the chorus, Shaking Their Hands is more fluent. It is also a bit more calm then the predecessors. This leads to a nice focus on the lyrics, it feels more relaxed listening to Chubb on the microphone.
5. Adore Adore Adore
With 2:38 minutes, the single release Adore Adore Adore is a rather compact listen on the album. Chubb is asking Do you adore me? and then states They never called me beautiful // They only called me insane in the energetic chorus. A good song with an abrupt ending, which is nonetheless not on my list of favorite listens.
6. Shadow Of A Doubt
Shadow Of A Doubt adds another single release to the album. The song starts with the typical rather quiet and dramatic opening. It takes a while until Colm O’Reilly and Sam McCann can free their instruments and give them full force. However, the song then stays at that level. Cool.
7. Can’t Get Enough Of It
Strumming guitars and a clear drum line drive you into the heart of Can’t get Enough of It. I feel that the song has more potential. The intro is catching and promising. You waitfor the energy, which Sprints are creating in other tracks. Unfortunately, it just does not happen.
8. Literary Mind
The single release Literary Mind is my favorite listen of the album. The song has a nice drive and speed. Nonetheless, it does have the nice plot and breaks which also characterize some of the songs before. With a nice bass line, the song also presents a cool groove.
9. A Wreck (A Mess)
A Wreck (A Mess) moves towards modern indie / alternative rock sounds. This especially leads to a focus on Colm O’Reilly, who can showcase his skills on the guitar. Towards the end of the song, though, the band is back to their good, old sound.
10. Up And Comer
The second last song Up And Comer is also the last song of the album, which is already known to fans of the Irisih band. The narrative stanzas are close to read words. The chorus is then just in line with the songs before.
11. Letter To Self
The title track is closing the album. The song is very dramatic and especially presents some new elements on the instrumental side. The vocals are very present in the powerful parts as well, before the song suddenly stops and closes the album with a quiet coda.
Sprints – Letter To Self – Spotify
Here is Letter To Self on Spotify:
Sprints – Letter To Self – My View
The press kit to the album states If you saw Sprints live on stage, you will have looked forward to the album. I would contradict – and rather see it vice versa: Letter To Self contains excellent material, which is made for a great punk rock night on stage. Many of the songs will be better in a concert, just because it will make you feel the nice plots and stories told much better. In the studio version, the grunge punk band nonetheless presents a very solid debut. I would love them to move a bit more out of their comfort zone, though.
Favorite Song: Literary Mind
Sprints – Tour Dates 2024
With the album release, the Irish band are kicking off a brief small venue tour in London. There are some European dates in February 2024, while they are back un the United Kingdom and Ireland in April. Here are all tour dates:
|London (United Kingdom) – Rough Trade East
|Brighton – Resident Music
|Nottingham – Rough Trade Nottingham
|Bristol – Rough Trade Bristol
|Dublin (Ireland) – Tower Records
|Rennes (France) – L’Ubu
|Merignac – La Krakatoa
|Paris – Point Ephemere
|Brugge (Belgium) – Cactus Club
|Antwerp – Trix
|Hamburg (Germany) – Molotow
|Berlin – Cassiopeia
|Munich – Kranhalle
|Groningen (Netherlands) – Vera
|Rotterdam – Rotown
|Amsterdam – Paradiso Tolhuistuin
|London (United Kingdom) – Heaven
|Birmingham – Actress & Bishop
|Manchester – The White Hotel
|Glasgow – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
|Brighton – Patterns
|Bristol – Thekla
|Nottingham – Bodega
|Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
|Limerick (Ireland) – Kasbah Social Club
|Galway – Roisin Dubh
|Belfast (United Kingdom) – Ulster Sports Club
|Cork (Ireland) – Coughlans Bar
|Listowel – Mike the Pies
|Dublin – Button Factory
|Dublin – The Button Factory
Finnair at Flyctory.com