“Pale Green Stars” relates the emotional pain of a child watching her parents fight and her dad walk out.
Though drugs nearly destroyed frontman Art Alexakis, the band has no trouble glorifying their use to teens (“Heroin Girl,” “Chemical Smile”). On “Summerland,” the singer takes a fatalistic view of life, wishing to escape into “cheap red wine.” Similarly, an alcoholic stupor is preferred to reality on “The Twistinside” (“Everyday in the afternoon, I like to let the arms of a bar wrap around me tight . . . cross-eyed and smiling as I watch the world go twisting by”). On a more vengeful note, “You Make Me Feel Like a Whore” longs for the day when the artist can make a so-called friend burn with self-loathing.
The best way to wrap up an analysis of Sparkle and Fade is with the band’s description of itself: “Everclear is . . . like 180 proof alcohol. It’s another name for moonshine, basically. It looks like water, but it’s pure evil. It’s a lot like us.” Teens should steer clear.