Sparta’s Wiretap Scars is Hard to Ignore

Sparta: Wiretap Scars (Dreamworks)

On Wiretap Scars, Sparta’s first full-length, the band blazes through twelve well-crafted songs bound tightly together with grinding guitars, thundering drums and poetic lyrics that might not put the At the Drive-In talk to rest (Sparta consists of three of the five members from this sorely missed band), but will surely make Sparta hard to ignore.

The aggressive, driving “Cut Your Ribbon,” opens the album with a manic blast of Jim Ward’s strained voice and Paul Hinojos’ textured guitar work.”Ribbon” sets the stage for Wiretap Scars to become a big rock record. Instead of showcasing vocals, the guitars step out of the background and into the light, becoming the musical focal point. “Ribbon” builds to a climax with Ward screamsinging an accusatory question:”How do you sleep at night?”

“Glasshouse Tarot” shows off Sparta’s talent at creating a spacey vibe. Atmospheric guitars float with ease around a rumbling bass line before spanning out; they evolve into thick, lush cornerstones of the song’s chorus.

While not necessarily breaking new ground since releasing their EP, Austere, earlier this year, Wiretap Scars finds Sparta slyly straddling the line of rock as an art form and as a cathartic release.

-Kari Petrie