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Austere (4 Tracks) [EP]

Sparta Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Mye
2. Cataract
3. Vacant Skies
4. Echodyne Harmonic (de-mix)

Product Description


When At the Drive-In called it quits just before becoming massive, it seemed like they had blown a one-shot opportunity. Not so. While vocalist Cedric Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez went off and formed the self-consciously weird Mars Volta, the Afro-free faction of ATDI--guitarist Jim Ward, bassist Paul Hinojos, and drummer Tony Hajjar--handily carried on under the new guise of Sparta. This quick-to-the-point EP, produced by Jerry Finn (Green Day, Blink 182), features the familiar sound of clipped rhythms, oblique vocals, and fuzzed-out guitars, but it also sounds insidiously fresh. Tracks like "Mye" and "Vacant Skies" update ATDI's taut fury with a most agreeable luster, while the pure force of the music remains respectfully undiminished. --Aidin Vaziri

Product Description

SPARTA Austere (2002 US 4-track CD single featuring former members of At The Drive In made in the bands native El Paso Texas with its distinctive sound clearly influenced by ATDIs former musical efforts features the tracks Mye Cataract Vacant Skies and Echodyne Harmonic de-mix picture sleeve with deletion drill hole through the jewel case)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Aug. 18 2003
By ovary z
Format:Audio CD
This EP gave everyone a taste of what was to come on 'Wiretap Scars,' but the versions of 'Mye' and 'Cataract' are a little bit rough. 'Vacant Skies,' however, is a great song and probably should have been on Wiretap Scars. But the 'Echodyne Harmonic' remix is horrible compared to the regular version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sparta is good. July 2 2003
Format:Audio CD
I don't know what to say about this cd. I'm torn between emotions. I love it, but it was too damn short. I want it to keep going. Its weird. Oh well........what they do have on the cd is gold. Whether you are an emo kid or just a regular guy who doesn't know about the music scene these days everyone can enjoy sparta. Its a really special cd. GREAT MAKEOUT MUSIC!!!! trust me. Look up Wire Tap Scars. You won't be sorry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good but not great... yet Aug. 10 2002
By Umpeik
Format:Audio CD
While Mars Volta went on to experiment in a different kind of rock sound, Sparta sticks with the sound that At the drive-in had nurtured for 6 or so years before they went different ways. Austere sounds like a mix of Relationship of Command and In/Casino/out, with a lot of tweaking on the Pro Tools, giving the EP somewhat of a techno feel that was very foreign to any of the ATDI album. This release did not quite live up to the standards that the 3 members in Sparta had set before with ATDI, the songwriting was shaky and erratic, but it was still good anyways.
I keep comparing them to ATDI and Mars Volta which is unfortunate because Sparta still seems like they are experimenting with their sound and haven't quite finished messing around. But this is not a bad thing, as this was only an EP and only their first release as Sparta. I look forward to their Full Length release in late summer of this year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT NEW SOUND! July 29 2002
Format:Audio CD
Wow this is an intersting new sound that Sparta has. I read they are the 3 remaining members of At the drive-in. I didn't really care for that band, but what Sparta has put out is a great new sound. If I had to compare it to something I have heard before, I would have to say it sounds like a cross between A perfrct cirlce, and The Cure. This is how interesting of a sound that Sparta has developed. I would recomend this record only to people with an alternativly open mind. If you are into more of the straight forward rock sound of todays modern music or numetal as it is called, you may not like Sparta. I myself am open to any type of weird rock music, as long as it has some substance and uniformity to it. Sparta definitly has this sort of Quality to their material. I first heard "Mye"-track 1, and was sold. I then had the pleasure of hearing "Cataract", which was followed with "Vacant Skies", this is where you can hear The Cure the most, and musically is A Perfect Circle. Sparta is an original sound all it's own really, and a very original sound at that... Just wish it was a full-length disk, and not just an E.P...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sparta Pumped Out a Really Good First EP June 26 2002
Format:Audio CD
Austere is terrific; energetic, melodic, and honest. It's really straightforward and well put together, and the musicianship shows just like it did in ATDI ... these guys can play and write with the best of them. Jim Ward on vocals is nice too, he keeps a few ATDI-isms as far as singing style but also works with other styles too. Drum work is great as always, and the guitars are terrific. The full-length should be great ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Promising May 27 2002
Format:Audio CD
Looks like the ATDI split was a good thing after all, because now we have two excellent bands. Sure Sparta might not be as experimental or orginal as Mars Volta (and I will flat out tell you the Mars Volta is one of the best bands around right now) but Sparta rights perfect rock songs.
This is one of those rare emo discs (though I'm not entirely sure this IS emo) that is excellent. No whining, excellent lyrics, and unbelievable music to back it up. Just listen to Mye, that one song will get you addicted to the band. And now here I am antsy with anticipation for the band's LP late this summer, The Wiretap Scars.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not-So-Amazing May 18 2002
Format:Audio CD
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I want more May 15 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album is great and the only reason I gave it 4 stars was that it only contained 4 songs. I know that it is only an EP, but after listening to it, I wanted more. I can't wait for the album to come out this summer. I saw these guys on tour with Thursday, and let me tell you, they were frickin good. If you miss ATDI, this album will fill any void. In my opinion the best song is "Cataract". It is so sick and the coolest song I hav heard in a long time.
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