Sparks EP – The Money.
Written for LeftLion magazine.
Giving the lie to the usual assumptions about “battle of the bands” contests, The Money’s success at this year’s Future Sound of Nottingham has given their profile a massive boost, turning them from unsigned unknowns to one of the city’s most talked about acts. Opening the main stage at Splendour in July, they scaled up a treat: radiating confidence and authority, and looking and sounding like seasoned festival regulars.
But then they’re hardly short on experience, having served their apprenticeship playing covers in Greek holiday resorts: three sets a night, five nights a week, in time-honoured “Beatles in Hamburg” fashion. It’s not the coolest of ascendancies, to be sure – but to dismiss The Money for lacking indie cred is to miss the point entirely.
Although firmly rooted in a classic pop/rock tradition – choppy riffs, hooky tunes, soaring harmonies, anthemic choruses – the band have transcended their influences and crafted a sound all of their own: instantly familiar, yet impossible to pigeonhole. Two of the tracks on this EP – Looks Like Rain and Feel Like You Save Me – could have been A-sides in their own right, both deserving to be placed on heavy radio rotation. And in the latter track, which accrued extra poignancy on the Splendour stage (“come on and give me a lifeline, I think it’s about time, I need to feel like this all of the time”), the band even have their own ready-made “winner’s song”. Hey, Nottingham: it feels like we saved them.