The John Sparrow

The John Sparrow


The John Sparrow destroy eardrums with their loud and rawkus mix of The Who inspired rock, Beatles harmonies, and abrasive indie rock. With The John Sparrow, you only have one option: Fucking dance!


Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow

Buzz. Some bands have it, most bands don't. There are bands that have played Houston for a decade or more and still cross our minds only as mere names in cold print, eliciting the same sort of yawn with which one might greet another hot and humid August morning.

But one local band has broken free of that ghetto. When the John Sparrow plays, people talk about it for days afterward; friends call their friends and gush, "You've got to see this band!" According to Rockpile Records manager Robert Garcia, no fewer than three customers raved unbidden about the John Sparrow after a recent show. It's downright weird, he says. In his experience, "More people come in the store and run down bands after seeing them perform than speak good of them."

Music geeks, especially in the UK, have found them, though, and often compare their sound to early punk and mod bands. Critics' shorthand descriptions most often read, "sounds like the Clash, the Jam and early Who with Southern rock mixed in."

Richardson doesn't necessarily agree with that classification. His prefers his own designation: "AC/DC playing Stax," referring to the legendary Memphis soul label. "We started R&B here in the South, and that comes through in our music. How could we come from here and not reflect that in our music?" he wonders. "I don't know how many Arhoolie blues records I have that were recorded here, then there's Gold Star [label] and all the other [musical] history here.

"I think our songs are pretty pop, too," he adds. "We tend to blast through them because that's just the background we come from. That's just what we learned to do growing up on Ramones and good punk rock bands, but they're definitely pop songs."

"We're working in the pop structure but trying to bring different things to it," chips in bassist Steve Longoria. "I think we have more in common with bands that have been doing it awhile but that aren't getting the big nod -- like the Brian Jonestown Massacre. [Maybe] they don't dress in matching clothes or have the right haircut or shoes."

Public perception and media opinion are "more based on style," agrees drummer Michael DeLeon, a former Westbury Square. "But we don't want to wear costumes and get stuck in that."

And since the John Sparrow signed with L.A. garage/punk/psych label Bomp! Records -- and have thus become labelmates of the Brian Jonestown Massacre -- they won't have to. The band is recording an album, with Massacre front man Anton Alfred Newcombe producing.


The Committee to Keep Music Evil / BOMP! RECORDS
(Produced by Anton Alfred Newcombe of
Brian Jonestown Massacre)

Set List

1.havin it
2.real as real is
3.she's so vibration park
5.yer no good
6.don't dig the new breed
7.full grown boogie the paramedics
9.once a week
10.get high
11.adam faith
12.twitch and pout