Vancouver-based band Sprïng has decided to change both their sound and name with the release of their new album, appropriately named Celebrations.
Previously known as SSRIs, this is the first album since their rebranding last year. Celebrations presents a delightfully eclectic collection of songs, very different from the SSRI’s previous hardcore style.
The band was first formed in 2006 with Elliot Langford and Joseph Hirabayashi and expanded to include current band members Kevin Romain and Ridley Bishop. Under the name SSRIs they released four LPs in limited runs, one of which was distributed exclusively online in 2008.
Celebrations lets the audience know right away to expect the unexpected. The first song on the album, “To Accuse” goes from classic to hard rock and back within the first ten seconds. Even after it settles into softer lyrics and melody, the track doesn’t lose any of the driving beat and loudness. It may not seem like such a combination and variation of styles could work but it is very successful.
Much of the album continues in this manner, blending quiet, harmonious melodies and instruments with frantic and angry guitar and drums. The style mimics the lyrics themselves, describing dark and often disturbing themes with soft vocals.
The sound is almost like a lullabye, provided that one doesn’t listen closely to the actual words.
A strong example, “Pax Calx” has fewer loud portions to help focus on the haunting lyrics such as “By the time you read this/They’ll have turned the air to stone/Every particle a pebble/Your lungs will feel like bone.”
Celebrations is disjointed, conflicted and exactly how one would envision the emotions of a person going through a crisis. This makes the themes of tragedy rather appropriate, sometimes offering comfort and a chance to cry and at other times rage and a chance to yell — two elements repeated in multiple songs.
If you are new to Sprïng or unfamiliar with their previous incarnation, then it is very likely that this album will be different from anything you have heard.
It would be incorrect to say that Sprïng shows they know how to experiment on this album. Rather, the band has finished all their experimenting and know exactly how to take their work in multiple directions to make it appealing. If you want to find an enjoyable Canadian band to follow, then Sprïng comes highly recommended.
Celebrations is an album dedicated to moments where you either don’t know how to feel or end up feeling multiple emotions at once. Equal parts loud and wistful, this band’s reimagining has hit the nail on the head and Celebrations is definitely an album that deserves to stand out from the crowd.
Currently on a tour of Western Canada, Sprïng will be playing in Saskatoon at Vangelis on March 20. Tickets are available at the door.