On a cool and clear June evening in Long Beach, Spare Parts For Broken Hearts took the stage at Alex’s Bar to not only join FEA and Kristeen Young for a night of indie/grunge/rock/punk-esque music mayhem, but to also celebrate the release of their new EP (I Love You II) and all attendees were welcome to their own free copy. SP4BH has had a very good year, winning Orange County Music League’s Battle of the Bands in Santa Ana with the prize being an EP recording session, performing twice at House of Blues and having the opportunity of being featured on ‘Stay or GO’ on the Heidi & Frank show on KLOS….oh, and they got a STAY!!! Those were just a few of the highlights over the last year and as a thank you for all the support from fans, family and friends, they wanted to say, “I love you too!” with their release of I Love You II.
Sure, I have shared their “name” exploits before, Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, House of Blues, etc. and it is easy to go on and on about the fact that Sarah Green and Laurita Guaico will take turns singing lead and will switch between who plays the guitar and who plays the bass during any given show, but there is more to their music than some kind of gimmick and the “girl band” thing only goes so far. I have seen many bands perform over the years and SP4BH is the only one that I have gone all over the southland to see, from House of Blues to Rock The Vote in Wilmington, from Diego’s in Santa Ana (for the Battle of the Bands) to a quick pop-up-esque show at Howl during Long Beach Pride week. No show is too big or too small for them, they approach each one the same, whether it is for thousands of people or a dozen, because they are there to put on a show.
Ok, let’s get back to that cool and clear June evening…this wasn’t the first time that SP4BH joined FEA in Long Beach in the last year, it was the 2nd, and I am sure it won’t be the last. I was fortunate to catch the show both times and I would pay top dollar to see that lineup again but, luckily, Alex always keeps every show’s entrance/ticket fee reasonably priced…you definitely get more than your money is worth any day of the year. This particular show was on a Wednesday evening (June 24th…I know, I am late with this write-up…sorry) and it is always a challenge to get people out during the work week, but there were more than enough people willing to start their weekend a little early to the sounds of some amazing women and to take advantage of obtaining a free album.
I entered Alex’s Bar that evening to find a fairly large standing room crowd and looked around to see familiar faces of friends and locals ready to take in what would be an unforgettable evening. As people were rushing to get their albums, buy merch (Of course, you have to then go change into your new shirt) and snag themselves a drink, Sarah, Laurita and Mikey were doing their thing with set-up, sound check and a little bit of “hanging out” with the crowd. Oh, yeah, Mikey Vallejo…Did I forget to mention him? My bad! You may not know much about him yet, as they picked him up as their new drummer right before the Battle of the Bands, but he is rather awesome with those sticks flying around “a la Animal-style” and he also gives great hugs. Seriously, you have to have found yourself a super fabulous drummer to win Battle of the Bands after having had only a handful of rehearsals.) So, from hanging out with the crowd, to rocking it on stage, having a well-planned playlist that flowed and kept the audience focused, entertained and interacting, always interacting. This threesome pulled off a show that had it’s emotional ups and downs, that took you from Say When to Moto, from In the Glow of Ashes to Kill the Killer and so on. For the most part, the fans were getting the bulk of I Love You and I Love You II performed right then and there. Alex’s Bar can always be a bit dark and mysterious and, yes, we have seen some vampires lurking around there, so it is fitting that some of the most poetic songs that Sarah and Laurita write are also some of the most heart wrenching and difficult words to sing, let alone write or speak. Music is very cathartic for these ladies; it helps them work out the ups and downs in life, and allows them to relate to others to put it out there for the world to hear. AND, that night, we heard SP4BH…LOUD and CLEAR!
It has always been the band’s mission to put out an album that sounds as close to a live performance as a possible, so I have to say I was a bit surprised that they were ready to have a new EP out so soon. They put a lot of time in on making I Love You and, I guess, they worked out their “recording magic” to be able to provide a follow-up EP that is just as solid as the last. There are some new songs and some that are variations of songs they have reworked during their performing over the last year. Sarah and Laurita are true professionals that write from the heart and play each note from their soul. True professionals know how to work the crowd, they feed off the energy of the people dancing and singing along to their music…they make the audience just as much a part of the performance as what they are doing on stage. Some bands just play locally, but SP4BH is posed to take the music world by storm.
I only have one question for you…Do you want to ride my motorbike?
If you don’t know what I am talking about, then come out to a show, buy their EP I Love You II on their website and definitely, definitely, definitely give Mikey a hug when you see him.
P.S. May I suggest, save September 5th in your “events calendar” to catch Spare Parts For Broken Hearts performing a special set dedicated to the 80s, courtesy of RIOTstage, before a screening of Heathers at Sunnyside Cemetery. SP4BH goes on at 7:30pm and the film starts at 8:30pm. Events at Sunnyside Cemetery are known to sellout quick, so get your tickets, your scrunchies, your fluorescent t-shirts and your Bubble Yum ready now…it is only a month away!
P.P.S. Keep an ear out for a new EP within the next year or so, because rumor has it…SP4BH is ready to go back in to record very soon.
SP4BH Website & Where You Can Buy I Love You II