As bizarre of a mixture as electronically-damaged screamo dance punk may sound, there's an indeterminable quality of "Try This On For Size" that simply just works. It's brash, oddly catchy and often abrasive, yet thanks to a variety of elements, ultimately charming as well. However, while Refused seem like a key starting point for the bands influences, there is far less arty aspirations here; as the music of Spark Is A Diamond is more Joy Division than John Coltrane.
But even with its relative simplicity and dance-oriented nature, the for-the-jugular intensity of the vocals is probably the bands most discernible trait. Steadily trading off wrenched female bellows with male barks and screams, a rapid velocity is maintained throughout the course of this album. Couple in with this that not a single song goes over the 3 minute mark and the bands surging nature is able to remain fresh and not work against them as it would in a longer format.
Still, this reliance on consistent drumbeats and vocal interplay can and does hamper their individuality on a song to song basis - especially with the electronic aspect of their sound being underutilized. Plus, while refreshing in the face of the metalcore masses, Spark Is A Diamond are clearly a bit too out there for everyone. But rough edges or not, much of the quirky raw aggression contained upon "Try This On For Size" does sparkle enough to impress - enough so to even make the rugged cover of Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It" seem not entirely ironic.
(3.5 / 5)