Sweet Spirit Record Review
Cokomo (Nine Mile)
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., Oct. 30, 2015
Cokomo may not be a real place, but Sweet Spirit's all over the map on their first studio full-length: raising hell with broken hearts on melodic garage anthem "Take Me to a Party," dropping the disco ball for the passionate "Baby When I Close My Eyes," and evoking a beachside campfire jam with "My Poor Stupid Heart." It's a work that continues expanding the musical scope of Austin's heavy pop gang, dually fronted by born entertainer Sabrina Ellis and her punk counterpart Andrew Cashen, who've already logged a studio EP and live LP in 2015. Though Cokomo's stylistic variety results from bouncy horn sections and bold keyboard strokes by Jake Knight, the album's crucial cuts are those that land uncluttered in the pop/rock strike zone where scrappy guitars complement extravagant melodies. Runaway-with-me fantasy "If You Wanna" recalls Green album-era Weezer and pulls fragile emotion from Ellis' proud pipes. Another instant classic, the oldies-esque "Rebel Rebel," begs for inclusion in a remake of John Waters' Cry-Baby, declaring, "Youth is a waste/ Put some lines on your face/ Breathe in, breathe out, 'cuz life is about something more and nothing is for sure." That's the lyrical thrust of Sweet Spirit: the joy and pain in trying to understand love, life, and yourself.