Album Review: The Spangles – “Sweet FA”
Supergroups can be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair at the best of times, but I’m happy to say that on the evidence of their debut album, the Spangles are definitely one of the good ones. Featuring Ben and Ginna from the Main Grains and Polly from the Idol Dead (Polly and Ginna also having collaborated in glam-punk should’ve-beens Phluid many years ago), this is a good solid knockabout collection of glammed up punk, blasted out with tons of energy.
From the opening barrage of Growing Up with its chorus of “Everybody else is growing up/But I’m just growing old”, it’s clear that this is gonna be a good ‘un. Essentially, “Sweet FA” sees the Spangles channelling a lot of the same influences that the Main Grains do, with The Only One and Hold My Hand recalling the bubblegum pop-punk of the Ramones and I Don’t Wanna Go recalling the Undertones’ knack with a tune. Back On The Meds Again meanwhile definitely has an air of the Wildhearts about it, not least with the drum intro owing a sly nod like the ‘Hearts’ Nita Nitro.
It’s not all sweetness and light though as the more frenetic likes of Dirty Pictures, Get Over Yourself and the Trump-bashing POTUS show a more vitriolic side to the Spangles’ work. With all three members of the band alternating vocals between them, it also makes Sweet FA a surprisingly varied album. Crucially though, it never loses sight of the main message – that all good pop-punk needs a decent hook and a shoutalong chorus to keep the listener interested, and on that front, it delivers in spades. Good stuff.
Definitely a case of an album exceeding expectations, "Sweet FA" definitely announces the Spangles' arrival on the scene in style with a swaggering mix of glam, pop-punk and killer riffs to draw you in. Those who enjoy the likes of the Wildhearts, Terrorvision and the Ramones should find plenty to enjoy here. The Spangles then, ladies and gentlemen, not just a supergroup, but a superb group.