According to conventional wisdom, musicians typically have ample time to create their debut album, but are constrained to a few short months to produce a follow-up. However, for Spark Of Life, a versatile post-hardcore group that originated in the suburbs of Los Angeles nearly a quarter century ago, their artistic journey has been anything but ordinary.
The band, composed of vocalist Steve Jennings and guitarist Nicholas Piscitello, recently resurfaced with a brilliant single called “Song Of Hope,” featuring accomplished actor and musician Fred Armisen on drums.
Today, they unveil “Memmer?… U Memmer!”, an energetic love song that showcases the band’s exploration of a skate punk sound reminiscent of Good Riddance and Pulley. Both tracks are part of a split 7 inch release with fellow California melodic punk ensemble Freewill, which is now available for pre-order through New Age Records.
On the song, vocalist Steve Jennings commented: “Writing Memmer?…U Memmer! was a lot of fun and happened quickly. Nick came up with this heavy, fast and catchy guitar riff that we couldn’t stop playing. In my mind I knew I wanted to write a song about my wife…since I never had! I started thinking about how I met her and how much much fun I had hanging out with her. Almost immediately I knew I was in trouble. The lyrics reflect that time in my life, but this song is about finding the love of your life and never wanting to let that go.”
When Spark Of Life first came together, they cultivated a sound that veered towards melody, while remaining weightier than the offerings of the pop-punk genre. Their success grew locally in the early 2000s, and they formed a friendship with Russ Rankin, a thoughtful vocalist with experience navigating the boundary between punk and hardcore music as a member of Good Riddance. This friendship led to the production of Spark Of Life’s restless debut album Promises Made. Promises Kept. in 2003, which was released on Rankin’s Lorelei Records, a subsidiary of Fat Wreck Chords. As is often the case with this band, unforeseen events altered their course.
From these songs Jennings and Piscitello have begun laying a foundation for the future. They are already at work on their second full-length album, a record that, in some ways, has been 20 years in the making.
Spark Of Life gradually faded away over the course of the following two decades without any discernible public announcement or bitter separation. They simply went about their lives.
However, things took an unexpected turn in the autumn of 2018 when lead singer Steve Jennings persuaded his friends in Rise Against to play a covert gig at the same skatepark where he had once worked during his high school years. The show was a special occasion marking his 40th birthday, and he seized the opportunity to reunite Spark of Life for a one-time performance as the opening act for Rise Against. It was a remarkable and memorable event.
The band’s brief reunion served as a catalyst for Steve Jennings and guitarist Nicholas Piscitello to reignite their creative spirit and begin writing again on a sporadic basis over the next few years. By early 2022, they had formulated an idea to record some of the songs they had nearly completed.