Album Review // SPRINTS // Letter to Self
This remarkable debut record feels like a band fully formed. Heavy, intelligent, and arresting, SPRINTS' Letter to Self is the first great album of 2024. Making no mysteries about some of their influences, the band credits Savages as a key figure, citing other bands like IDLES, Bauhaus, and LCD Soundsystem. Do you know what all of that means? That means RIFFS. Glorious, powerful, metallic riffs accompanied by some of the finest post-rock bass playing I can remember. This Irish quartet, led by singer and guitarist Karla Chubb, have thankfully arrived in album form, and will find themselves touring stateside this spring (though sadly not close enough in this reviewer's opinion). As much has been made about the band's ferocious live shows, Letter to Self paints a deep portrait of immediacy, an unflinchingly vulnerable battle cry from Chubb that often comes in shout-along form. It doesn't have the characteristically lachrymose darkness of most post-punk, and even has a few songs in major keys, like "Literary Mind" and its follow-up "A Wreck (A Mess)." I hope this band sticks around for some time, because this explosive balance of rock, punk, and indie doesn't come along very often.