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?
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
- Cut Your Ribbon
- Sans Cosm
- Light Burns Clear
- Red Alibi
- RX Coup
- Glasshouse Tarot
- Echodyne Harmonic
- Assemble The Empire
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