Energetic, frantic, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown are just a few ways to describe garage punk’s Sprints debut album Letter to Self. Encapsulating punk, post-hardcore, and adding a splash of vitriol, Sprints is mowing down everything in their sight through their brash instrumentals and caustic vocals. This album is bound to get your ass up and moving. If you haven’t heard of Sprints yet, get on it before they’re selling out stadiums.
There is a rawness that Sprints gives us on Letter to Self that is seldom recreated in this way. It’s like a mix between Jawbreaker, The Screaming Females, and Nirvana. Each track is honest, in your face, yet packaged in a perfectly produced album. Every track seems to be an intricate look into the self, and the coping mechanism is the music they make. Lyrics cut deep as the instruments bash the listener. It is an onslaught of feelings and desperation that don’t let up until they decide it is time.
One of my favorite tracks from Letter to Self, “Cathedral,” is a perfect embodiment of what Sprints is about. Wailing solos are a backdrop to a cascade of chugging instrumentals, dark and heavy in tone. Vocalist and guitarist Karla Chubb has a crazy range, going from monotonous singing to this crazed shouting. Pair that with some beautiful singing from time to time and you have a deadly combination that propels this album forward.
Letter to Self is one of the most impressive debut albums I’ve ever listened to. It is a seething display of emotion, cutting into the self, and experiencing ego death for our enjoyment (and probably for their own sanity). I never got bored once while listening to this album. It was on repeat for hours, and I didn’t notice it had restarted.
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