This album title is an interesting one for Sparta’s latest creation, in a sense there’s a pure and gleaming sense about the path the group, now on their sophomore release, has taken in 2004. The ghost of Perry Ferrell is felt more than any spirit left from ATDI, which may say something about the fading memory of their previous history and their head-on lunge toward their own immoratity.
It’s when Jim Ward’s vocals are taken high and wide along with drummer Tony Hajjar’s thunder that causes everything to shatter into small, finite pieces, causing cuts and bleeding when not treading carefully. Even at a subdued state on “Hiss The Villain” they’re still fighting back, “It’s so early in our lives/For such a waste of time/Such a waste of breath/We can shake our fists in vain/Scream and lose our voice/It’s our choice.” A ring on the finger is mentioned in this song, but the feeling isn’t one of a lore torn lover, but rather a unified voice from today’s generation whose future is teetering like a teacup.
The plea blisters and peels back to a raw layer of tumultuous muscle on “Spinters” and “While Oceana Sleeps.” But it’s the anthem of “Lines In Sand” that took me back to the days as a twelve year old, where I sat in my room with my headphones and lyric sheet to a song, memorizing every word so I could join in on the battle cry made complete with marching drum like rhythms, as if we were all gathering to take on the world.
Within the acoustically perfect boulders of Red Rocks, this should be a truly amazing experience. Sparta plays Red Rocks Monday, July 26 with Incubus.