Listen Up: wednesday, August 22, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Sparta

Wiretap Scars (Dreamworks Records)

By Piet Levy

When they played in At the Drive In, the boys of Sparta provided aggressive, nihilistic post-rock. Now that they’re older and wiser (in their 20s, no less), they’re trying to sort out the dusty dreams and disappointments of their El Paso origins. Sad though they may be, these songs elicit wide-eyed dreams and endless possibilities.

Wiretap Scars casts a huge net, has big ambitions, and hints at even better things to come. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t talent ready for show. Like a lot of emo bands, Sparta suffers from earthbound earnestness and a determination to be poignant; their lovely licks are filled with an icky center of standard-issue reprises that sound the same on every cut. But the band shines on softer songs. “Collapse” is a somber slice of sentimental longing, seasoned by a weeping violin. The penetrating piano and dicey electronics of “Echodyne Harmonic” hit distinctive notes. The crown-piece, “Cataract,” sang to the lonely kid in me, who sang soulfully in turn. And the rocking chant of “Mye” rouses without seeming trite. These last three numbers were featured in one form or another on the band’s EP, Austere, and remain Sparta’s best offerings.

But truth be told, there is more emerging than actually being on Wiretap Scars, a record that’s half-baked yet well-intentioned and passionately played. Sparta is on the cusp of stardom, and this band is a talent deserving of a happy ending.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions