Don't get me wrong - this album is not perfect. It has flaws. But they are extremely hard to find, and you only notice them after the album has been on repeat for hours. And it will be on repeat for hours as soon as you have it.
Edward Larrikin (vocals, cowbell), Micko Larkin (guitar), Alfie Ambrose (bass) and Coz Kerrigan (Drums) make up Larrikin Love - an infectious British band who have recently released their debut album, "The Freedom Spark". Since the beginning of 2006, things have really started looking up for them. The band has released 3 singles this year, got signed to Warner Records and toured almost non-stop.
"The Freedom Spark" begins with "Intro", which is surprisingly enough, an intro. Strange noises and a drum beat for a minute and a half. After this you are hit instantly with their first single, "Six Queens", proof that the British music scene is far from dead and buried. Sounding very much like he is singing a stream of consciousness, Edward has the typical "British band sound", so he's basically a Cockney. The rhythm in this track is quite possibly enough to get your grandmother dancing.
"Edwould" is up next, a song seemingly written about the lead singers dislike of being thrown into a stereotype. This song also features the violinist from The Holloways, Rob Skipper, which adds a twist to the all familiar ska beats. Track number 4, possibly my favourite, is "Downing Street Kindling", a statement about discontent with England - "So goodbye, I wish you all well, but I can no longer thrive in England, for I fear that it is hell."
The next track proves that even light-hearted bluegrass can be turned into something disturbing. "Happy as Annie" begins as a catchy little tune, and then it turns into a song about a country stroll. However, the end of the song involves subjects such as death and rape. This is a very energetic song to listen to, and because of this it has become a live favourite.
"Fall at the Feet of Rae" changes the pace of the album completely. An acoustic song with Irish folk influence, it slows the album and shows that the band can do more than one thing with their instruments. The next track extends this. "Well, Love does Furnish a Life" goes so far as to show that Larrikin Love can even write a perfect, catchy pop song. The chorus of this song will be stuck in your head.
The closing track, "On a Burning Coast", is a venture into ska for the band. Something you'll notice about Larrikin Love is their inability to write anything that isn't catchy, and this is another song that will have you at least tapping your foot (though you'd wish you were standing, skanking around the room).
Don't get me wrong, this band is not for everyone. However, you should at least try this album. This band could well be the future of the British scene.
Oh, and if you get the chance, see them live. They're fantastic. The first time I saw them I was talking to the band for about half an hour after their set. Lovely guys.
Reviewed by: loquaciousdipso