January 20, 2003

sparta 'wiretap scars"

It must be hard, wanting to be successful, coming close to being the next big thing, but never following through. Must be great to have all of these people talking about you as if you ARE THE SHIT, and to fail to take it to that next level must make for some really introspective moments. Maybe it's hard to move on, especially when you see others being rather successful using your formula.

It must be tough for the guys in Sparta to deal with these things, because Wiretap Scars sounds like is the sound of a band copping the styles from their former band, At the Drive-In, and mixing in the bland sounds of Commercial Rock Music AKA Emo. I loved the Austere EP, when most of the reviews I read dismissed it for the reasons I'm dismissing them now. I was really looking forward to Wiretap Scars. It showed talent, but it was a premature shooting of their creative load. I've listenend to Wiretap Scars several times now, and nothing sticks with me. There's nothing memorable; there's nothing that hasn't been done better by someone else--and, what's more, there's NO EXCUSE for it, either.

What is most annoyning, though is that they sound like they're trying to be sincere, and it's falling flat. They sound earnest in their approach; those vocals sure do sound "real," but it still falls flat, and they quickly fall into the crappy emo/"modern rock" pyre. The only time they're not giving off a "we miss your voice, Cedric, and we're going to imitate you" vibe is when they're not on my stereo. I mean, really guys, come on now! Dudes, Omar and Cedric have moved on, and their music is great! The only time they are "good" is when they're not screaming like the last band on Crank! or Caulfield, and when they do, they're just sounding like an emo version of the Police.

There's nothing sadder than hearing a very talented group of musicians squandering away their talents by making mediocre music. Wiretap Scars is one of the most soulless, empty-sounding records I've heard. I just cannot escape this undeniable feeling of insincerity that keeps popping up. Are these guys trying to continue the At The Drive-In thing, or are they simply trying to cash in on what they perceive to be the trendy sounds of today? Wiretap Scars is sad, it makes me sad. Wow. I'm "emo" now.

--Joseph Kyle

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