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Through the Sparks

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Conjuring up clouds of sound that blend elements of prog rock, psychedelia, and indie rock, Birmingham, AL's Through the Sparks began life in 2003 as a side project for guitarist Nikolaus Mimikakis, his percussionist brother Thomas Mimikakis, and bassist Greg Slamen, who at the time were working with John Paul Keith in his band Stateside. They had already begun recording songs as Through the Sparks when Keith decided to fold Stateside, so Slamen and the Mimikakis brothers simply refocused their attention on their new project. Adding multi-instrumentalists Jody Nelson and James Brangle to the lineup -- both of whom play a variety of keyboards and guitars with the group -- Through the Sparks began taking their intricate soundscapes into live venues, and in the spring of 2005 they released their first CD, a six-song EP called Coin Toss on the independent Skybucket label. This was followed in early 2006 with Audiolotas: Scraps for the Human Ear, a collection of demos, home recordings, and "unfinished" compositions intended to document the band's earliest period. Through the Sparks's first proper studio album, Lazarus Beach, arrived in spring 2007. ~ Mark Deming

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