Sprints – Letter to Self (City Slang)

We weren’t ready for this. We’d only just crawled out from under the duvet, post New Year, the freezing still air in our homes, leftovers in the fridge, chocolate reindeer not finished, the bloody Christmas Tree was still up, and yet on the first Friday of 2024, Sprints released their debut LP to slap us awake and hurtle us full throttle into the new year with a boot up our arses.

Yes. Fuck yes! This is what we need. Not a gentle acoustic pluck and strum, that can come later. We need visceral, cerebral Rock ‘n’ Roll. We aren’t going to get anything done in January having our brows stroked and being told everything is going to be alright. It’s bloody not, it’s going to be shit, then a bit shitter before it gets better.

But we can put a brave face on it and get on with it whilst Karla Chubb screams sweet blood-curdling nothings from her literary mind “…. and she’s wiiiinnniiiiiiing”.

Ticking’ is a tension-filled beginning, ramped up and teased to breaking point. It’s a simple thing Rock ‘n’ Roll but when done well it’s so effective. Sprints know how to do this. You think it’s going to explode, then it doesn’t and it builds again and then, is it? Yes, it kicks. Bosh. Heavy.

Do you ever feel like the room is heavy?” often Karla. Often. It’s a word that often comes to mind when listening to Letter to Self. Not so much on ‘Heavy’ the last single that came out the day before the LP landed. Instead, there are angular guitar lines and a tempo that makes you think of countrymen Fontaines DC.

There’s something gothic and dark, brooding, intense and powerful about the way Sprints sprint down the nave of Cathedral, they are smashing up the pews, kicking down the altar, and downing the communion wine. Jesus Christ. He wouldn’t approve, but then, that’s the point.

Shaking Their Hands’ allows the intensity to drop temporarily, without the momentum being lost, it’s a gorgeous, weary lament at the world. Karla is raging at the patronising, misogynistic and demeaning treatment she has received whilst trying to make it in this industry, never more prominent than on ‘Adore, Adore, Adore’.

Marrying The Edge dampened guitar lines, echoing toms, and Karla pleading lyrics that horrifyingly seem to be alluding to possible abuse, on ‘Shadow Of A Doubt’.

Can’t Get Enough Of It’ is perhaps the most experimental track. There are elements of doom rock and even early Editors in the screeching guitar riff that punctuates the rolling, pulsating rhythm section

Up and Comer’ is one of the best songs of last year, excellently placed in the penultimate position on the record. It’s a frenetic and frantic race, a scream in the face of those who have patronised her. “here we go the devil’s knocking at my door”.

Have we had the best album of 2024 within five days of its beginning? Quite possibly. Note to self: go and see Sprints as soon as possible.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.