REVIEW: Grown Up Avenger Stuff – ‘Sparkleton’
The whimsically energizing Alternative Indie Rock band, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, has rocked our nation with the release of their self-produced album titled Sparkleton. This Charlotte North Carolina native band, which consists of Deirdre Kroener (vocals), Tyler Thomsen (percussion), Hunter Thomsen (bass), and John Thomsen (guitar), powerfully display their enigmatically charming uniqueness in sound, yet are reminiscent of bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of the Stone Age, Dead Sara, Florence and the Machine, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
Formed in 2009, Grown Up Avenger Stuff started touring regionally, nationally, and internationally for their highly acclaimed 2012 CD Alive. In the summer of 2012, Grow Up Avenger Stuff was chosen out of 400 bands to represent the United States in a Canada tour. They have performed at countless music festivals, including Belle Cherre Festival (Asheville, NC), Alberta Beach Canada Day Festival, Fort Sask Festival (Edmonton, AB, CA) and the Live Out Loud Music Festival (Charlotte, NC). They even performed at the South Carolina Strawberry Festival in Ft. Mill, which was voted as South Carolina’s number one festival.
One of their most prized accolades stems from their lead singer (Deirdre Kroener) winning the best female vocalist award (in 2010) from the Creative Loafing Magazine. The four piece band, who was recently featured in the Charlotte Magazine Style Edition, have opened for Cursive, Sick of Sarah, Killola, April Smith, Vanity Theft and Hunter Valentine.
Grown Up Avenger Stuff’s newly released album Sparkleton succeeds in showcasing the power behind Kroener’s voice. I mean it becomes pretty apparent that this girl has an incredible vocal range. Kroener’s strong raspy tone is further enhanced by the Thomsen brothers’ well-played instrumental accompaniment. Specifically, the commanding guitar riffs flow seamlessly as the percussions reach a crescendo of sorts. Lyrically, the band masterfully infuses vivid imagery with life lessons on character development and the fluffy emotions attached to love.
The title track “Sparkleton” showcases the tenderness in Kroener’s voice as she sings of “spreading the love.” While the vocals and musical arrangement of the song is spot on, it is the lyrics that will really pull at your heartstrings. You must appreciate lyrics like, “When you flash that smile, it ignites a fire inside my heart. When you look at me your fire meets mine and our hearts start to spark.”
“Some of Us” is another song that once again not only shows Kroener’s colorful vocals, but also carries a strong message lyrically. Kroener sings about the importance of not being hard on yourself and how we have to adjust some parts of ourselves in order to understand each other better. Once again, gotta love songs with deep meanings behind them.
“Too Cool” is by far my favorite song on the album. It’s a very cutesy, fun, and lively song that will definitely get you up on your feet. I love how the song intermixes the vocals and instrumentation from a soft soothing vibe to a loud and pounding volume of sound. Lyrically, the song is very relatable as Kroener repeatedly sings, “You think you’re too cool for me.” We’ve all encountered someone like that in our lives at some point, right?
Grown up Avenger Stuff is an all around fun loving Alternative Rock band with a newly released album that is sure to please a growing fan base.
1. Some Of Us
3. The Beat
5. The Man
6. Too Cool
7. Do Ya
CURRENT TOUR DATES:
02/22 Birmingham, AL – The Nick
02/23 Chattanooga, TN – Southside Saloon and Bistro
03/01 Augusta, GA – First Round Sports Bar
03/02 Mooresville, NC – The Bathtub Gin
2013 SXSW Bound
03/06 Chattanooga, TN – The Honest Pint
03/07 Memphis, TN – The Poplar Lounge
03/08 Little Rock, Ar –Vino’s Brew Pub
03/09 Dallas, TX – Bill’s Records
03/09 Dallas, TX – The Trees (Marquis of Vaudeville)
03/10 Houston, TX – Super Happy Funland (Overflow Fest)
03/11 Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock
03/13 Austin, TX – The Driskill Hotel
03/13 Austin, TX – New Guild Co-op
03/14 Austin, TX – Darwin’s Pub (SEMFest)
03/16 Austin, TX – Austin Java (GoGirls Invasion)
03/16 Austin, TX – Rudino’s
03/17 Austin, TX – The Speakeasy
03/22 Greenville, SC – Radio Room
03/23 Asheville, NC – French Broad Brewery
03/26 Charlotte, NC – After Hours @ UNC-Charlotte
03/29 North Charleston, SC – The Sparrow
03/30 Charlotte, NC – World of Beer Southend
04/05 Fayetteville, NC – The Black Cat Lounge
04/26 Lancaster, PA – Launch Music Festival