Without lyrics, Red Sparowes tell the story of the Great Leap Forward, a disastrous plan for economic growth that the Chinese government inflicted upon its people from 1958 to 1962. One failed part of this multi-phase plan included killing millions of seed-eating sparrows to improve crop growth. The ensuing floods and famine killed millions of people. What does a heartbreaking history lesson like that sound like? Well, it sounds huge, first of all, with giant distortion, elaborate rhythms, and tsunami-size crescendos. Even in their quiet moments, when all seems sparkling guitar and soft melodies, the compositions brim with layer after layer of instrumental ornamentation, including winsome pedal steel guitar. The sound is often breathtaking and always atmospheric, and the CD liner notes read like folk poetry: "And by our own hand did every last bird lie silent in their puddles, the air barren of song as the clouds drifted away . . ."