May 20, 2002

Sparta "Austere"

Ahhh, yes, the remnants of the band who celebrated being dubbed "next big thing" by breaking up. Well, Sparta is the non-Cedric project (both of which, DeFacto and Mars Votala, are extremely weird and beautiful), and as far as sounds go, Sparta is going in a completly different direction. Of course, Jim and Tony were also highly-talented members of At the Drive-In, so there should be no reason to fear this new project.

Actually, it ain't bad, this Sparta thing. Austere kicks off with "Mya," a loud, droning, pulsing screamo of a song that, yeah, sounds not unlike, you know, that band. With "Cataract," the band drops the At the Drive-In act and turn their settings to electronica-rock, and though it sounds rather post-punk, it's also quite appealing. "Vacant Skies" is a bit of the same, with a major helping of that whole emo thing. The final track, "Echodyne Harmonic," is a "de-mix," yet to my ears it seems like an electronoica jam that nice, yet rather forgettable.

While Austere may seem rather innocuous, it's important to remember that this is merely the beginning for these kids. Methinks, however, that Sparta is an act for whom the phrase "next big thing" is more than a reference for two members' previous band. Though too small to really define their sound, Austere is certainly a nice, though brief, taste of things to come.

--Joseph Kyle

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