America? land of the brave, land of the free, land of the easy-going indie pop band. Sprites are Jason Korzen, formerly of Barcelona, and his wife Amy. The album is ?a computer geek classic,? according to the press release?. Well it is twee, and offensively inoffensive, so yeah, ?a computer geek classic?. It?s the usual bland, sing-like-you-have-a-blocked-nose, middle-of-the-road retro crap that we?ve all come to expect from these predictable ?indie? bands.
?Modern Gameplay? is supposedly homage to the punk/pop new wave bands of the late ?70s/early ?80s that play influence on Korzen?. You?ll be pleased to hear that they pretty much fail in their attempt to replicate those bands. This mostly comes across like the by-product of the ?90s American indie scene, a mere retro afterthought; it?s not all bad, but it?s not good. It is in musical limbo. If you?re a fan of twee indie pop, then buy this; it?s no worse than the flood of similar-sounding bands.
Naming a song after George Romero is an immediate mistake, and the wonderful political incorrectness of ?I Love You, You Retard? shows a complete lack of tact. Best of all is a song called ?Things Are Looking Up In Lebanon??. I don?t think that they had envisioned the political crisis that followed the fighting that broke out recently (even if they were trying to be ironic).
Nothing stands out from the overflow of dire tedious tracks; it?s all so ordinary and instantly forgettable. It enters in one ear, and waltzes straight out the other. It concludes in the appallingly titled ?Ambient Industrial Dronescape?, a 44 second song in which Korzen talks about the arrangement of instruments in an ?ambient industrial dronescape?, and how it makes him want to hurt himself. So if you ever meet Korzen, you know what music to play him.
They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour, but ?Sprites? brandish it as if it?s something to be proud of. Anyone can use it; let me show you an example?
Sprites are a great band, and ?Modern Gameplay? is an indie masterpiece. 4/10 -- James Clarke (28 August, 2006)