by Erica Rabito
Though the seasons are certainly changing, SPORTS seems to exhibit little variation in sound from their previous album, Sunchokes, on their newest work, titled All of Something, which comes out tomorrow. With it, SPORTS members singer-guitarist Carmen Perry ’15, guitarist Jack Washburn ’16, drummer Benji Dossetter ’15, bassist James Karlin ’15 and singer-guitarist Catherine Dwyer ’14 bring a more upbeat, indie vibe and lyrics to their usual sonic stylings.
Four songs from the band’s new 10-song album are available for pre-release listening on Bandcamp, an online site for music promotion and sales, and each is a good representation of their sound: a combination of fun, pop beats and indie instrumentals and lyrics. “Saturday,” the second track on SPORTS’s new album, is only one minute and 13 seconds, but its fast, catchy tempo is sure to stick in listeners’ heads for much longer. Despite lyrics that discuss the commonly felt, sad sentiments of a friendship ending, the lively music seems to betray the song’s lyrics and detract from their meaning.
Following the short “Saturday” on the list of available tracks is “Reality TV,” which runs a slightly longer two minutes and 15 seconds, and continues the buoyant rhythm of the first song and of SPORTS’s typical sound. The lyrics of this song are much more meaningful than those of the song preceding it, telling of finding solace and comfort in romance. The fast, acoustic music suits the overall optimism present in the lyrics. While the depth of the lyrics seems to have improved from the first song available for preview to the second, the melody and chord progressions present in this song seems extremely similar to that present in “Saturday.” These chords are used frequently throughout the rest of the album as well.
“Get Bummed Out” is SPORTS’s third track available before the album’s debut, and the beginning of the song breaks from those that preceded it — for the first 12 seconds it is slower, relies less heavily on the band and allows Perry’s unique, raspy voice to shine through. Following this brief period, however, SPORTS falls back into their too-familiar pattern of repetitive chord progressions and overall sound in lyrics and instrumentals. The only component of this song that significantly separates it from others on the album is the addition of a backup singer to add some dimension to the piece.
“The Washing Machine,” the band’s final song available on Bandcamp and the final track on the album, returns to the pattern of energetic melody and sound presented by nearly all the other songs on the track listing, describing the wish to remove someone from your life but having difficulty doing so, seems to be the most genuine and moving of the messages present on this album.
With what’s available of All of Something so far, SPORTS successfully presents a cool indie or ’90s garage-band vibe, but following these genres so closely comes at the expense of the individuality and heart that could have been present in their occasionally impressive lyrics. All of Something will certainly be a fun album to listen to with friends or at a party, but may ultimately fail to elicit any serious emotion or feeling from its listeners.