Many of us screamed in frustration when AT THE DRIVE-IN split. But consolation was quick and sweet with the formation of two amazingly original acts, MARS VOLTA and SPARTA. The latter’s Wiretap Scars was the first to grab my balls and became one of my best CDs, maybe the best of 2003.
‘Cut Your Ribbon’ kicks off by telling us to get out of the mainstream and be ourselves. The song lives that ideal ’cause it’s hard to pin down what genre it is. Alternate, punk, Jim Ward’s high-pitched vocals, and an unpinnable extra quality make this into an absolute delight that commands expectation. Thankfully, expectation is fulfilled again and again. You get melody in ‘Collapse’, urgency in ‘Air’ and ‘Mye’, and ghost beauty in the wonderfully entitled ‘Echodyne Harmonic’. ‘Cataract’ steals a bit of each trait and consequently reiterates the self-identity of this great band.
From harmony to screaming and the balance between, SPARTA is an admirable flexibility that i beg all to experience.