Pin It

CD Review - Sparta 

by Clint Burgess

Sparta rose up out of the ashes of the emo super-group At The Drive-In and delivers big with their major-label debut, Wiretap Scars (DreamWorks). At the time it seemed ATDI would forever loom over the former members as an unrealistic measuring stick they would forever be compared to. This has not been the case thus far as Sparta continues to progress beyond the band that spawned them.

The quartet features three former ATDI members. Jim Ward takes up vocal duties as well as guitar on this record and proves he is more than capable of leading the latest incarnation of these outsider musicians from El Paso, Texas. He is supported by Paul Hinojos on guitar, Tony Hajjar on drums, and the only non Drive-in member, Matt Miller, on bass.

Wiretap Scars pieces together flashes of melodic madness coupled with spastic syncopation. Hajjar's impressive and eclectic beats serve as the clamorous backbone. "Cataract," for example, incorporates a spacey theme coupled with a hard-hitting chorus driven by explosive drums and searing guitar.

The band spent the better part of a year touring and writing the songs for this album. The lead track, "Cut Your Ribbon," is the perfect expression of the dynamic mechanics this band, together since '94, is capable of. Fans of ATDI will be able to revel in familiar sounds and be benefactors to new musical excursions as well.

One of the strong suits of this record are thoughtful lyrics, showcased by Ward's angst-ridden vocals, which portray pictures of cynicism, disdain for the past and sometimes even glimpses of hope. The songs play guinea pig to the band's studio experiments, which yield quality returns. A random perusal of the songs on this album reveals heavy effects on some tracks, piano and synthesizer on others and some simply bizarre sounds.

This group of guys could have been content to rest on their laurels but complacency isn't part of their repertoire. Rather than become casualties of the fallen At The Drive-In empire, Sparta is poised to claim the vacant throne of the emo kingdom and break new, progressive musical ground in the process.

  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • I-1366: Just Say 'No!'
  • I-1366: Just Say 'No!'

    Tim Eyman's latest initiative continues his long history of self-serving hyperbole and deception
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • Ye Olde Government
  • Ye Olde Government

    Publisher's Note
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • Chief Complaint
  • Chief Complaint

    What does Frank Straub's resignation tell us about David Condon?
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
SpoYo Spokane Youth Book Festival

SpoYo Spokane Youth Book Festival @ Bing Crosby Theater

Sat., Oct. 10, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Clint Burgess

  • The Word Made Fresh

    & & by Luke Baumgarten and Clint Burgess & & & r & It's gotta be tough to do publicity for Christian rock. The evangelical idea that the secular world is the devil's domain - that it's the fiery gauntlet you have to navigate to get your eternal reward - turns
    • Sep 21, 2005
  • Summer Adventure - NW Fishing

    Fishing is a way to absorb the natural surroundings of the region we call home, to commune with the spirits of generations gone before who dropped their lines the same way we do today. Besides, it's
    • Jul 13, 2005
  • Honda Gets Tough

    As a rule, certain car companies are known for specific models and typically excel at what they do within a specific type of vehicle. For example, Dodge is known for its trucks, Toyota for its sedans, Mazda for its sports cars and so fort
    • Jul 6, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Fall Out Boys

    Mayor David Condon and Chief Frank Straub have parted ways. What that means for the SPD and next month's mayoral election
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • Captive Audience

    Anyone can say anything they want at Spokane City Council meetings; is this the best way to get the public's input?
    • Sep 24, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation