I really used to like this little EP, but my opinion has since changed.
I came to realize that Sparta wasn't really that great.
Not unlike The Beatles, (granted, At the Drive In weren't that great, but bear with me) ATDI was always split in two factions. There was the pop side, which basically became Sparta, then there was the experimental side, which became The Mars Volta.
As someone I know once put it, Sparta lack At the Drive In's "sexual bounce". You know how the opening chords of "Ursa Minor" or the bouncy rhythms of "Mannequin Republic" would send shivers up your spine? Well that's all gone. Imagine ATDI without a hint of experimentation or excitement and this is what you get.
Granted, these four songs, and Sparta's less than amazing full length aren't bad by any means. These guys aren't The Vines. But they're not exactly Wilco or ATDI by any means.
So what do I like about this record? A lot actually. Sparta aren't bad musicians, the lyrics are good, there's some interesting stuff going on.
The verdict? It's up to you. If you like the idea of a poppier ATDI, you'd like this. If you don't, you wouldn't. It's nice enough, but if I lost all my records in a fire I'm not sure if I'd repurchase this.