In listening to Celebrations by Sprïng, a band that self-identifies as a “psychedelic rock band,” it’s hard to determine whether the multifarious tracks are true exemplifications of intelligent prog-rock, or if they’re too distracted and overdone to make a serious impression.
Although the latter may be true for the average, one-time listener, those with a keen ear and taste for a more unorthodox, experimental style might notice that the band’s credentials do impress. The Vancouver- based bunch more or less morphed from the band SSRIs—a highly acclaimed, prog-punk group, which made waves in the scene for more than five years. Sprïng features a handful of talented musicians and composers. Many of the group’s sonic experiments do contain praiseworthy elements: expert finger picking, complex, perpetually changing time signatures, and incredible layering of major and minor harmonies. However, these virtues somehow fall short of coalescing into an enjoyable, meaningful listening experience.
When SSRIs rebirthed as Sprïng, they certainly matured; the over-processed electronics and keyboard use in SSRIs’s album Effeminate Godzilla Sized Windchimes, has been replaced with softer vocal harmonies and intricate acoustic instrumentals in Celebrations. It’s reminiscent of a college kid coming back home for Christmas break and wondering why he or she was ever so rebellious in high school. However, this kid still gets mad when mom and dad impose a curfew on Friday night—the sporadic, head-banging, electric guitar riffs are more annoying than pensive.
Too ‘angst-y’ to really settle on a concrete sound, Sprïng flits back and forth between a palatable, more traditional indie groove (similar to Fleet Foxes or Belle and Sebastian), a pop ‘60s British psychedelic feel (like Magical Mystery Tour at some points), and a good amount of cumbersome, ambient babbling. Interesting in its own right, I wish Sprïng the best in honing its diverse abilities into a more clear-cut niche