Record Reviews

“Sparks: Kimono My House – 50 Years Later”

This is a wonderful reimagination of Sparks’ classic 1974 album by an eclectic mix of artists.

Pale Wizard Records has brought together a wonderfully quirky and eclectic group of artists to reimagine Sparks’ classic album “Kimono My House”. Sparks, led by American brothers Ron and Russell Mael, has always been a quirky and weird band. Genre-wise, Sparks has been all over the place. Placing them in a specific genre is hard. I would argue that it is bloody art rock, but what do I know? It is not obvious how one would tackle recreating their songs in a way that would be meaningful. Somehow, and against all the odds, Pale Wizard Records has pulled it off. “Kimono My House – 50 Years Later” is a terrific reimagination of a classic 70s album. Making covers of classics is more often than not a bad idea. It is a risky move by the label. Thankfully, it works a treat. The original “Kimono My House” album was Sparks’ third album. It was recorded while the band was based in the United Kingdom.

Bristol fuzz rockers Phoxjaw’s version of “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us” is an immediate winner in my ears. It is bombastic, over-the-top and bloody good. The original reached the number two spot in the UK singles chart in 1974 and this cover version is exquisite and explosive. Sheer quirky awesomeness! Another favourite is Swedish haze rockers Besvärjelsen’s fab version of “Equator”. And the good stuff keeps coming on this weird and wonderful collection of songs – Tony Reed’s “Amateur Hour”, Chaosmonaut’s “Complaints”, Sergeant Thunderhoof’s “Thank God It’s Not Christmas”, Black Helium’s “In My Family” and Earl of Hell’s “Falling in Love with Myself Again”. There are also great contributions from Josiah, Krooked Tongue, Silvery, Dis & Co and The Slightest Bits.

This is a terrific album for both Sparks fans and general fans of quirk rock.

“Sparks: Kimono My House – 50 Years Later” is out now via Pale Wizard Records.