Spratch - On The Rise (2006)
A self released debut album containing 14 unique tracks, blending the genres of pop punk, punk rock and acoustic rock. Album recorded and produced by Paris Zannos, mixed by Matthew Keeson and mastered by Tully McCully. Spratch was Sean Twomey, Michael Gillman & Devin Jones.
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Spratch has build up a cult following in the rock backwater of Cape Town, South Africa. On pure talent, they should break big — even going as far as fellow South Africans Seether, who have found international success. And Spratch already are a lot better than many US emo acts that have hit paydirt.
Produced competently by the band itself on a shoestring budget, and released on their own label, Spratch clearly aren't in the business of fooling about. This is an assured debut album by a band that has drive and respect for themselves and the music they make.
Citing the likes of Rise Against and Blink 182 as their influences, Spratch’s sound is a softer than the former, and more serious than the latter. Death features prominently on this set, especially on "Two Lives Lost", a haunting song about the lethal effects of drunk-driving. With its gorgeous harmonies, it is the album's highlight.
Lyrically, songwriter Sean Twomey knows how to communicate an emotion without investing in poetic metaphor. He has something to say, and he says it with a refreshing directness.
A few songs, such as the manic and appealing "Monkey On My Back" (which recalls '90s Offspring) are derivative. For the most part, however, Spratch have created a distinctive acoustic punk sound of their own that deserves to break out from the ghetto of a rock backwater.