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Sprints - Letter to Self (Album Review)

Friday, 12 January 2024 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: JP Dougherty

Sprints have already amassed a solid live following since forming in 2019, but nothing can truly prepare you for their debut album ‘Letter to Self’. It’s a work that sounds like it was made by a more weathered band, but it retains such a sense of vitality and urgency it constantly strains at the seams.

It is bookended by a question and an answer. On Ticking Karla Chubb asks, “Am I alive?”, and on the closing title track she intones, “I am alive.” Between these poles exists an exploration of self, growth and righteous rage that's masterfully executed by the young band. 

The kick drum that opens the album heralds a song that becomes menacing through lyrical repetition before it turns into a minecart hurtling down its tracks.

Repeated lines crops up often, with the songwriting device lending an anchor to the otherwise ramshackle, riotous nature of the album. 

There’s fiery dynamism at work throughout. Jack Callan thrashes the drums with abandon, while Chubb and Colm O’Reilly’s guitars seesaw from minimalist motifs to maelstroms of chords and frantic leads. They know not to stick around either, preferring an abrupt end rather than resolving tension with vocals that murmur and shout equally to further explore personal crises. 

While ‘Letter to Self’ is inspired by bands such as Fontaines DC and Against Me!, its propulsive garagey noise sets Sprints apart with a clear identity and a bright future. Brutally honest, deeply personal and emotionally resonant, it is one of the best rock debuts in some time.

Sprints Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed April 03 2024 - LONDON Heaven
Fri April 05 2024 - BIRMINGHAM Actress and Bishop
Sat April 06 2024 - MANCHESTER White Hotel
Sun April 07 2024 - GLASGOW King Tuts
Tue April 09 2024 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Thu April 11 2024 - BRISTOL Thekla
Sat April 13 2024 - NOTTINGHAM Bodega Social Club
Sun April 14 2024 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Thu April 18 2024 - LIMERICK Dolans
Fri April 19 2024 - GALWAY Roisin Dubh
Sat April 20 2024 - BELFAST Ulster Sports Club
Thu April 25 2024 - CORK Coughlands
Fri April 26 2024 - LISTOWEL Mike The Pies
Fri May 03 2024 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Sat May 04 2024 - DUBLIN Button Factory

Compare & Buy Sprints Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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