Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sparkler - Wicker Park (1997, Warner Bros.)

Sparkler was formed by L.A. native Rick Parker, formerly a member of Lions & Ghosts, the "college rock" band he led in the late 80s with Michael Lockwood (husband of Lisa Marie Presley and sometimes guitarist for Aimee Mann). After Lions & Ghosts split, Parker released a solo album, Wicked World, for Geffen in 1992 before later starting Sparker. The band's 1997 debut, Wicker Park, was recorded with Keith Cleversley (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips) and drew comparisons to Mathew Sweet, Oasis, and Jellyfish with its mix of classic power pop and glam influences (though I think the best comparison might be Spacehog). Interestingly, the list of bands mentioned in Wicker Park's liner notes reads almost like a who's who of similar sounding (and similarly forgotten) 90s LA bands, including Summercamp, Campfire Girls, Agnes Gooch, Super Deluxe, and Gwen Mars. Check out the single "Discover" (video included below) for a good example of Sparkler's brand of hook laden power pop. This would be Sparkler's first and last record, though Parker would later work with artists such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Miranda Lee Richards.

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Kishin said...

I love this album! Thanks for posting it. Too bad it was their only one.

Benaboo said...

Definitely one of THE most tragically overlooked albums of the decade. Every track was great.