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Sparks Fly From A Kiss

"Self-Titled" (CD EP)
amBiguous CITY! Records
(Coming Spring 2003)

Sparks Fly From A Kiss

Split with Hope, Star & Browning (7")
Low City Records



Sparks Fly From A Kiss


Ralph Nicastro - Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Sex - Guitar, Vocals
James Daly- Bass
John Crocco -Drums
Jesse Rudner- Synth and Organ
Stephan Ethan - Samples

Sparks Fly From A Kiss is the collaborative effort of six guys in their mid-twenties hailing from New Brunswick, New Jersey, a breeding ground for inspired and innovative musicians (yes, believe it or not). Their approach to create original rock music, filled with up-tempo beats and memorable hooks, has gained them a considerable, local underground following and buzz throughout Jersey's musical establishments. Unlike most contemporary rock groups, Sparks Fly tend to break away from the conventional mold of a four-piece band by introducing samples, synth and organ, granting them the opportunity to define and craft their music in a whole other dimension. The rich layers of harmony created through the shotgun marriage of raw vocals and compelling backup rhythms, are bound to settle any listener into a hypnotic state of mind, complete with a satisfied grin from ear to ear. Brace yourselves. Finally, an inspirational band is here to thrive amongst the relentless competition by offering an innovative sound that is both cutting-edge yet reminiscent of old-school influences.

With Sparks Fly, one will witness a riveting performance fully equipped with all the required elements of an eclectic rock group. Heavily influenced by a diverse mix of bands such as Spiritualized, The Rolling Stones, Modest Mouse and The Beatles, has consequently led them to develop a unique sound representing a wide variety of styles and techniques. Songs like "Big Day Squad" deliver an unforgettable chorus with vigorous drumbeats and aggressive guitars, while more hypnotic tunes like, "I can't sleep", offer an atmospheric quality designed to transport listeners to an entirely different place. With such a vast knowledge of different genres, Sparks Fly is able to deliver tunes that represent every facet of the music spectrum, resulting in an eclectic and original finished product. But hey, don't take our word for it. Check them out yourself!


Six song EP’s from bands I never heard of don’t tend to grab my attention… usually. I don’t know what it was about this release that did. Maybe the oversized press kit (which included a kick ass matchbook), or maybe it was just the name of the band itself. Whatever it was, it worked, because I popped this right in the stereo when it arrived at Indie Workshop HQ.

This six piece hails from New Brunswick NJ, not necessarily the hot bed of new music, but sometimes, that’s exactly what a band needs. Actually, I think most bands would be better served to be held up on some deserted island. I’ve had enough of incestuous scenes; I’ve had enough of member and style swapping… Sparks are my breath of fresh air.

So, I guess you would like a little bit of enlightenment as to what the hell they sound like huh? Ok, here goes. Think of epic sounds on a small scale. Or maybe, monumental music on a shoestring budget. I tend to think of Spirtualized meets Ivy, but add attitude and rock and roll swagger, and of course the lo-fi aesthetic. They know when to turn up the guitars and give you a pop inspired gem a la Grandaddy, as is the case with track 3, “Big Day Squad”. But, adversely, know when to lull you away to dreamland with reverbed guitars and sonic swells like on the very next song, “My Baby’s All Gone, Your Baby’s All Gone”, which makes me think of both Luna and Stratford 4.

For a virtual unknown, Sparks Fly From A Kiss come onto the scene like a lion. I think most people will be stunned by the maturity displayed on this album. But don’t be fooled, these guys aren’t young pups but rather seasoned veterans. Just because you haven’t been in a “big press” band doesn’t mean you haven’t picked up a few tips and learned a few things along the way. It’s all most like this is a culmination of years of “unknown-ness”.

Well, they have taken their years of experience to heart and channeled it into a great piece of work. The result is an album that could make a few waves if the right people were to hear it. I expect more good things from this band… maybe someday, great things
– Indie

There's an interesting tug-of-war going on in the NJ indie scene right now. On the one hand, there's a new generation of Jersey bands returning to the old bash 'n' pop sensibility of Bionic Rhoda and Boss Jim Gettys, bands whose only real ambition is to rock hard, like Dibs, Copperpot, and Clever Hans. But there's also an undercurrent of groups going for a far more subtle approach, bands like American Altitude, Hope Star & Browning, Brunfussites-turned-Philadelphians Like Flying Insects, and to that list I would add New Brunswick's Sparks Fly From A Kiss. "Subtle" is the last word anyone would've have used to describe singer/guitarist and principal songwriter Ralph Nicastro's last band, freewheelin' sonic-skronkers Aviso'Hara. But with Sparks Fly, Nicastro uses his high, thin, always almost-out-of-his-range vocals as filigree on top of a delicate latticework of sounds cobbled out of keyboards, samples, melodic bass, and very subdued electric guitars. For a New Brunswick band - a town that's always liked its rock as loud and dumb as possible - this is a brave and definitely new approach; there's a lot more Brian Eno than Brian Bruden in what Sparks Fly is doing, and it works beautifully. This is music that's soft, soothing, meditative, tranquil, and yet retains just enough of a sonic edge to hold your attention. Kudos also to guitarist Johnny Sex, who wrote two of the six songs here, and whose delicate guitar parts (along with Nicastro's) perfectly accentuate the melodies without running roughshod over the electric piano, organ, and synthesizer sounds that form the base of Spark Fly's sound.
– Jim Testa, Jersey Beat

There's something new burbling up out of the New Jersey swamplands, and this time it's not vinyl chloride. Sparks Fly From a Kiss's home state has typically preferred its rock served short, fast and chippy, thankyaverymuch, which may make the group's delicate power-pop a hard sell at home. Singer/guitarist Ralph Nicastro, formerly of local favorites Aviso'Hara, alternates between a Jeremy Enigk-like coo ("Engaged") and a pinched, emo-friendly howl ("Beat the Artist", "Big Day Squad"), but the Sunny Day Real Estate comparisons don't end there. The sextet's self-titled debut shimmers like a handful of reigned-in Rising Tide outtakes, glistening with twinkling guitars and atmospheric dissonance. The set peaks in the six-minute space-pop suite "My Baby's All Gone, Your Baby's All Gone", which drowsily canters along before transmuting into a crashing indie-rock answer to Pink Floyd's "Eclipse", minus the gospel choir. For mousy Rutgers students tired of getting the shit kicked out of them at Stuntcock shows, Sparks... is music to nurse your wounds by.


Management/Booking: Mahatta Management