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"Red Sparowes" Artist Review

February 3, 2012 by Mark Muehling // #redsparowes #instrumental #postrock #amazing

Red Sparowes is a Los Angeles post-rock band comprising current and former members of Isis, Halifax Pier, Angel Hair, The VSS, and Pleasure Forever. Their sound is characteristic of soundscape-influenced experimental rock, with an otherwise uncommon extensive use of a pedal steel guitar.

Red Sparowes formed in 2003 as another project for its members. Through signing to Neurot Recordings, Neurosis' record label, Red Sparowes toured with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Made Out of Babies in 2004 after recording demos for their debut album. The debut was recorded in May 2004 by engineer Desmond Shea, with the resulting sound in the vein of guitarists Bryant Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide's band Isis, Chicago post-rock/metal outfit Pelican, as well as bands as varied as Sonic Youth and The Cure. Members Jeff Caxide and Dana Berkowitz relocated in late 2004, thus forcing them out of the band.


Red Sparowes' first studio album, At the Soundless Dawn, was released in February 2005, following Clifford Meyer's Isis in their initial tours in support of Panopticon. Shortly after this release, a split 12" album was released with Gregor Samsa. The Red Sparowes side contained the second track from At the Soundless Dawn, "Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, And the Air Filled With A Reddish Glow," as well as a track recorded during the album's recording sessions with guitar by Michael Gallagher of Isis, initially only available on the Japanese release of the album. Following the release of the album, the band headlined a tour in Europe and participated in an American tour with Pelican, Big Business and Breather Resist. After touring the band released their follow-up record, Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun, in 2006. Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun, was recorded at Prairie Sun and Louder Studios in San Francisco with producer Tim Green (Comets On Fire, The Fucking Champs, The Melvins). This release was followed by more touring of North America and Europe, including shows in the US with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

In 2008 Josh Graham parted ways with the rest of the band to pursue musical project A Storm of Light. In May 2008, Red Sparowes recorded new material with engineer Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Big Business, Tool), and in August that year the EP Aphorisms was released digitally.

Red Sparowes began recording their third full length studio album with Kasai on August 24, 2009. The album, entitled The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer, was released on April 6, 2010. The resulting 8-song disc is the first to feature guitarist Emma Ruth Rundle and finds the band's sound progressing ever onward in its balance of heft and melody.

Band members:

Current members

Bryant Clifford Meyer (guitar) of Isis
Andy Arahood (guitar/bass) formerly of Angel Hair
Greg Burns (bass/pedal steel) of Halifax Pier
David Clifford (drums) of Pleasure Forever, The VSS
Emma Ruth Rundle (guitar) of The Nocturnes

Former members:

Josh Graham (guitar) of Neurosis (visuals), Battle of Mice, A Storm of Light
Jeff Caxide (guitar/bass) of Isis
Dana Berkowitz (drums)
Brendan Tobin (guitar) of Made Out of Babies

Discography- Studio albums

At the Soundless Dawn- February 22, 2005 CD, 2xLP Neurot Recordings
Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun- September 19, 2006 CD, 2xLP CD by Neurot Recordings
LP by Robotic Empire
The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer- April 6, 2010 CD, LP Sargent House

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