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Wiretap Scars
DreamWorks Records

With a raspy and reinvented Jim Ward, front man for Sparta, this band has been dripping from the tips of critic’s tongues lately. From his stint as guitarist for the now deceased At The Drive In, Ward now holds the mic, providing Sparta with authoritarian sounds, daring you to not like them.

With their first single “Cut Your Ribbon” from their debut album, Wiretap Scars, Ward pulls off the guitarist turned singer transition without a hitch. His vocals go from forceful to subdued in the matter of one breath. But get the thought of the cliché sound of brief screaming vocals laced with melodic harmonies out of your head. Ward’s grainy voice can stream through the songs without sounding contrived.

In the second track “Air” Ward steps to the mic with a frail but cure voice only to break into the chorus with powerhouse vocal chords “This time I’ll get it right, you can’t defend it, it’s predetermined.” Professing his thoughts on the band? Maybe.

Musically, Sparta’s sound is as inventive as ATDI was. Could it be because Paul Hinojos and Tony Hajjar, also former members of ‘the other band’ make up half of Sparta? With three parts At The Drive In and then one part Matt Miller, bassist for Sparta, it would be hard to not have the former band influence in some fashion or another.

Sparta has that same eeriness that ATDI did, but with a softer edge and the same intensity. With breaking guitars and drum lines so precise that they can’t help but hold the songs together, Sparta is just thing to help us all finally get past the fact that ATDI broke up too prematurely.

Lycia Shrum

Track List:

  1. Cut Your Ribbon
  2. Air
  3. Mye
  4. Collapse
  5. Sans Cosm
  6. Light Burns Clear
  7. Cataract
  8. Red Alibi
  9. RX Coup
  10. Glasshouse Tarot
  11. Echodyne Harmonic
  12. Assemble The Empire

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