Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: “The Mighty Sparrow”
Ted Leo is many things. He’s an anglophilic punk rock classicist. He’s a learned wordsmith. He’s the bandleader of the Pharmacists. Most importantly, Ted Leo’s a writer of songs that combine the zeitgeist of American punk and British pop sensibilities.
Ted Leo first recorded under the Pharmacists name in 1999 after the breakup of his former band Chisel. The first album, tej leo(?), Rx / pharmacists, was a truly solo project. Leo added a full band and returned to literate, pop-inflected punk on records like 2003’s awesome Hearts of Oak. The Pharmacists have a revolving membership, but are always anchored by Leo and his songwriting.
Today’s song of the day, “The Mighty Sparrow” opens Leo and the Pharmacists’ sixth full-length record, last year’s The Brutalist Bricks. With nary an introduction, Leo comes right out singing. Punchy guitars and peppy rhythm give the song just enough edge to fly in punk territory, but really it’s an air-tight pop song in the tradition of The Who and The Jam.
You can see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists this Sunday during Fun Fun Fun Fest at 5 p.m. on the Orange Stage.