Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sparkmarker - Products and Accessories

Sparkmarker were a great band from Vancouver who managed a very precise blend of NYC post hardcore crossed with DC post hardcore. They existed for the better part of the decade from 1990 - 1997 when they packed it in and moved on to other things. One thing that always struck me about Sparkmarker was the singers voice. It was and still is very unique in the realm of hardcore and punk. He sings, but he kind of yelps at the same time. I dont mean that as any negative aspect, yelping, in this case, works really well. The songs are rhythmic and more to the point than a band like Quicksand and heavier and more visceral than a band like Soulside who they kind of remind me of at times.

I first heard of Sparkmarker from the Land of Greed, World of Need comp from Trustkill Records. It was a compilation of bands covering the Embrace album song for song. And while lots of people froth over the mention of Embrace I never really liked them all that much, preferring instead to listen to these cover version, many of which are better than the originals. Current, Sparkmarker and Avail by far had the three best covers, followed closely by Beltaine, Groundwork and Lifetime and even Rancid had a great track. (In fact, if you use the useful little search field up on the top left, you can type in Land of Greed and the file is still linked up. I think it was the second post I did. Its worth having.)

Nonetheless, hearing the Sparkmarker track and being obsessed with Quicksand made me want to hear more and thus this band entered my life. Lots of bands get described as sounding like Quicksand, but with the exception of this band and maybe Shift in their earlier years, no other band really sounded like them. Except for maybe Never Only Once from Vermont, but how many of you have heard that? Its a good EP. I should upload that too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

can u upload the 500wattburner sparkmarker full length? can't see to track that one down!


5:09 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

You'll appreciate this post I made from late last year. Some live Sparkmarker...

5:10 PM  
Blogger proven hollow said...

sparkmarker was simply an amazing band, they blew me away live. however, they were only amazing with the singer on these songs. once he left they were fucking terrible. 500wattburner is barely listenable (to me). i simply loved the singer for this stuff.

anyway, the singer had a new band a bit ago called deadsure. they had an ep on no idea records which is quite good, and continues the wierd poetic lyrics and cool voice that old sparkmarker had.

deadsure recorded an lp and then broke up i gather. the lp was to be released on rome plow records. rome plow asked for pre-orders. people sent their money for the pre-order and then never saw a record (like me). after numerous attempts to contact rome plow and at the very least get my fucking money back, adam at rome plow has either ignored me or just kinda said "tough shit." ive also been in contact with the old guys in deadsure and apparently they havent seen anything from the recording or even a record. so hooray for rome plow, you fucking suck! anyway, its a bummer cuz i would really like to hear that album.

and if any of you know this label or this dude, tell them i want my 9 dollars back! haha. or just puch them in the gut for me. its fucking 2008, not 1986 when we used to blindly send money to MRR ads and cross our fingers we'll get a record in the mail.

i'm bitter...haha.

sparkmarker was good though. true.

10:58 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

wow, and they named their record label after a Drive Like Jehu song too, shame on them! I am ready to gut punch anyone I need to PH. ^_^

Sparkmarker was great, and I totally agree with PH, 500wattburner was pretty bad. It was all about the old singers voice. So sorry Anon, I dont have it, though maybe someone will be kind enough to up it for you.

@ Kevin, I love your site man. I have been by it a few times and it always blows me away, not only for the hardcore, but also the eclectic variety of other things you post. I shall have to link you up over this way. Theres a lot of good videos on there! Hoover videos!

10:43 AM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

He, he, I agree that "500wattburner" is a big step down from "Products and Accessories". However, I am not bitter since I bought it for only a few cents via Amazon (currently you can buy copies starting at 17c +shipping). Enjoy, or don't ;-)

10:13 PM  
Blogger Trailer Trash zine said...

It would be great if you can get a chance to upload the Sparkmarker CD. I haven't heard this in awhile. Thanks for working hard on this blog!

1:02 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

another overlooked band on the quicksand tip is cast iron hike. that 7" on trustkill is so heavy, but in a really quicksandy/post-hc way. it seems like they got lost in the shuffle of the mid-90's/victory roster because they weren't moving mad units, but i think they hold up far better than snapcase, etc.

1:49 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

thanks for the comments guys and thanks for upping the Sparmarker album, Luciferyellow.

Stephen, Cast Iron Hike was awesome. I havent heard that in years. Any chance someone has that and would share with us?

Thanks again!

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sparkmarker is oddly similar to Mudhoney in that their singles collection is so unbelievably awesome, but it never worked after that. I was happy to see this posted, since it gave me a chance to give my original CD a break. Man is this some killer stuff.

Sparkmarker is similar to Quicksand in that they were "groove-oriented hardcore" (how dumb does that sound now?). But different enough to make them great at least on this record.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Soul Mining said...

anyone having trouble downloading this ?
it is saying 14 hours ! and then timing out, tried at both home and work.

1:10 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

let me know if you need a re-up, Soul-Mining

1:57 PM  
Blogger Brushback said...

HA! I owned a Never Only Once CD ("Saving Grace", on Pressure Point Records!)-- I remember it because I still have the review of it that I wrote, saying that it was Patrick West's (Change Zine) wet dream... and I mentioned Sparkmarker in the review, too. Don't have the CD anymore, though.

Trash American Style was a great store.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The day some baseball punk from Brushback references me in one of his reviews is the day i slamdunk on his face! Sparkmarker were good, though. not hard yet not soft, more like rocking hardcore. Verbal Assault, later GI, a lot of those N Idea bands. those bands I did always love. I'm gonna brush you back!!

4:18 PM  
Anonymous shawn scallen said...

the Products and Accessories CD is still available by mailorder from me - scallen at spectrasonic dot com


12:32 AM  
Anonymous shawn scallen said...

oh yeah, Kim and Jason have a new band

1:14 AM  
Blogger 96Ataxic said...

Hi... kick ass blog. That would be sweet if you could put up the Never Only Once discs... Think they had two. Impossible to find.


1:48 AM  

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