Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sparta - Austere EP

Here's the thing: I know I'm not supposed to like Sparta. When At The Drive-In broke up, they split into two pieces: the artistically virtuous Mars Volta which aspired to be the next Pink Floyd or Rush, and the shameful sellout Sparta which aspired to be basically a much more commercially successful At the Drive-In. That's how the two bands were presented to the world, but I don't know that we got it right. Did we really know that The Mars Volta hated money and fame as much as we wanted to believe (I think in the long run they made a lot more cash and were generally much more famous than Sparta). I also don't think Sparta were the gold diggers they were made out to be. Maybe they just didn't want to be Rush.

Anyway, as a discerning lover of music, it is my duty to dislike Sparta and champion The Mars Volta, but I tend to like both bands. As a matter of fact, I prefer Sparta's debut EP and album to The Mars Volta's. Yes, heresy.

So the Austere EP is a four track introduction to Sparta. Three of the tracks on this EP are on the full length Wiretap Scars, but that doesn't matter too much. People were clamoring (at least the people I know) to hear what the two post-At the Drive-In bands would sound like, and Austere gave a better idea than Tremulant did. Sure, you won't really need this EP if you have Wiretap Scars, but it was a crucial buy when I picked it up.

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