Since the shenanigans surrounding their second album release, Delorentos have found everything they do framed by that certain part of their back story. It didn’t help that, despite the promise of lead single ‘S.E.C.R.E.T.’, You Can Make Sound was not quite the record it could have been. Since its release, the band have maintained their position as the Irish indie band it’s ok to like, before reappearing at the end of last year with a series of acoustic shows and an EP (complete with smart magazine) that offered the glimpse of a brave new dawn.
Little Sparks doesn’t quite deliver a wholesale reinvention along those lines, but does once and for all point them firmly in the right direction. It is uniformly fabulous, the sound of a band growing in confidence and settling on a direction that suits them down to the ground. There is, to be honest, plenty of the old way of doing things here – from opener ‘Did We Ever’ onwards – but they have never sounded better as a guitar band. The songs are strong and the production brings out a previously unheard epic side to them.
More encouragingly, the record sees them explore a range of new avenues. Quieter moments sit comfortably alongside the louder ones without ever falling into cliché. ‘Waited For You So Long’ comes complete with a clear, crisp falsetto vocal, while ‘Swimmer’ stretches out over nearly six minutes and ‘Little Sparks’ builds over a riff that brings to mind The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’, before exploding in a riot of uplifting harmonies. They peak, riskily, as early as the second track ‘Bullet In A Gun’, a brilliant stomp along with an unshakable melody and easily the best thing they’ve ever done. Time would have been that something of this quality would have overshadowed the rest of the Delorentos’ output but no longer. With Little Sparks however, they’ve proved that taking seven years to reach your peak can be a beautiful thing.