search for something...

search for something you might like...

A Runaway Success The debut album by Sprints is a raging, cathartic triumph.

A Runaway Success

The debut album by Sprints is a raging, cathartic triumph.

by Jay Lewis, Reviews Editor
first published: January, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

This band has so much to say to a stale society where complacency and conformity are reigning again

'Letter To Self'
(City Slang)

The clue is in the title.

‘Write a letter to yourself’ - the sort of task that a therapist may set you: a letter to your future self, a letter to your inner critic, a letter to your younger self… a letter to make you find some empowerment, some self-worth. ‘Letter to Self’ is Dublin-based Sprints’ debut album and its collection of songs (mostly) of rage and catharsis. The band’s garage punk noise provides a visceral soundtrack to a record about looking inward and exorcising demons. It is also about delivering some well-deserved kicks against some rather odious pricks. Some of those letters may be written in red or green felt tip pen, they may be angry, but they really, really need to be.

At the heart of this quartet is singer, guitarist and lead-songwriter Karla Chubb and you feel that every line she sings is drawn from some personal experience. 'They never called me b-b-beautiful, they only called me insane', (‘Adore, Adore, Adore’), she screams in the face of critics. 'Cathedral' takes the self-loathing of growing up queer in a Catholic community and fights to be heard ('He's singing from the hymn sheet/I'm singing for the others'). ‘Can’t Get Enough of It’ is filled with personal terror and ‘Up and Comer’ takes on the self-loathing and imposter syndrome that can be the result of so much of the doubts and negativity of others . 'Literary Mind' meanwhile (together with its splendid video) proves, yet again, that there are fewer places more sexy than a truly great bookshop, it's a powerful ode to falling in love and, in particular, queer love in a world that still (yes, still), tries to oppress that.

You can play the old game of what punk and post-punk idols (and, heaven help us, don’t suggest IDLES), Sprints appear to be influenced by, but that misses the point somewhat. This band has so much to say to a stale society where complacency and conformity are reigning again. A band that screams for your attention and, once it has it, will not let you go. Essential.

Photograph of Sprints: JP Dougherty 

Jay Lewis
Reviews Editor

Jay Lewis is a Birmingham based poet. He's also a music, movie and arts obsessive. Jay's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

about Jay Lewis »»

Lu Warm at Corks in Bearwood on Friday May 3rd web banner



All About and Contributors


Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]


If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]


Ooh Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha May 29th

outsideleft content is not for everyone