CD Cover Sparkmarker

Review by Kevin Templeton

44-second excerpt from "Chrysanthemum" (various formats)

I'm digging this group's back-to-the-basics approach on 500wattburneratseven, a record that flirts openly with a progressive and groove-oriented sound, with less of the Fugazi-an punk dynamics evident on their first full-length "unit," Products and Accessories. These guys are viewed by many as Vancouver's own version of Quicksand, but who's complaining? Not I.

Sparkmarker have never painted themselves into a corner with an idea and they don't seem to be starting now. Interestingly enough, "Chrysanthemum" almost gets Queensryche-y towards the end and "Keep the Quarter" practically moshes the good word home -- strange happenings in punkdom, but common occurrences in the neo-hardcore scheme of things these days. Old vocalist Ryan has been gone awhile now, leaving the throat duties to guitarist Kim Kinakin, whose emotional drawl speaks volumes for the band's convictions, both musically and socially. Kinakin's narrative after "Firearm" even recalls one of many pages from C.O.H., his 'zine from days past.

Although they may've loosened their stance on all-ages shows, 500wattburneratseven, recorded almost two years ago in New York, is as fresh and vital a statement as you'll hear from the left coast this year.

Artist Contact Info: P.O. Box 1457 Bentall Centre, Vancouver, B.C., V6C 2P7, sparkmarker@hotmail.com

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 25, 1997

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