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Threes Enhanced

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 24 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Untreatable Disease
2. Crawl
3. Unstitch Your Mouth
4. Taking Back Control
5. Erase It Again
6. Atlas
7. The Most Vicious Crime
8. False Start
9. Weather The Storm
10. Red. Right. Return. (Straight In Our Hands)
11. Without A Sound
12. Translations

Product Description

Product Description

Three albums. Three record labels. Three minor reinventions and just as many artistic progressions. Sparta are one of the punk community's most consistent and widely respected bands for good reasons. Three's, their first album with former Engine Down/Denali guitarist Keeley Davis onboard, is perhaps their most accomplished and least anxious record yet. Most of the wrinkles from front man Jim Ward's strained tenor have been smoothed, particularly on "Erase It Again," where he genuinely channels Bono's knack for making small stories sound huge. Ward's vocal improvement is dramatic, no question, but without Davis, it's hard to imagine Sparta songs sounding so expansive as "Unstitch Your Mouth." Behind Ward's expanding register, Sparta finally seem intent on realizing their destiny as an arena-filling, life-changing band. Once these players' relationships evolve further, their future's as wide as their sound's become. - Alternative Press 2006


Sparta combine the quirky elements of indie rock--unusual start-stop riffs and guitar skwonks--with anthemic choruses and surprisingly uplifting melodies, emerging with an uplifting and intelligent form of arena rock. The band also gets its prog on with the moody "Unstitch Your Mouth," a track that calls to mind The Wall-era Pink Floyd as much as it recalls anything heard in VFW halls and blaring from dorm rooms today, and "Atlas," which could easily be an outtake from Radiohead's OK Computer. That's not to say that Sparta's sound doesn't have a sense of originality. Much of Threes--the sonic maelstrom "Untreatable Disease," the epic "The Most Vicious Crime," and the made-for-the-stage, U2-esque "Weather the Storm"--proves that this is a band to watch, one that other acts will look to in the future for inspiration. Threes isn't a classic album--there are some moments that need trimming on some of the record's latter tracks and the quartet could stand to mask its influences more often--but the 12-song collection does demonstrate that Sparta are in the rock & roll game for the long haul. --Jedd Beaudoin

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Please note that this was my first time hearing Sparta and I am therefore unable to compare this album to their previous work.

But I can tell you that the sound quality is amazing, very good sound production. This band seems hard to categorize, it has some punk elements and it also has a poppier side. All in all its just a very good balance of agressivity and more high spirited emotions. Can't wait to hear more Sparta!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e9f5d08) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea51768) out of 5 stars Three for Threes Nov. 2 2006
By doomsdayer520 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here's the sound of passionate rockers turning into professional musicians. The playing is competent and skillful, but the Sparta sound is becoming bland and unmemorable. It has definitely been difficult for Sparta, and especially Jim Ward, to escape the band's history and to build a unique musical vision, but Sparta were well on their way to doing just that - until this album. While it's not quite as dire as some of the most negative reviewers here have claimed, Sparta seem confused about their identity and direction. Wiretap Scars was tentative but strongly emotional aggro-grunge, and then Sparta really took a quantum leap forward with Porcelain, in which excellent songwriting and passionate playing nearly vaulted the band into their own new genre - a more mature and less whiny brand of screamo. Here on Threes, the band certainly sounds more solid. Jim Ward has added some subtlety (or subtracted a lot of screaming) from his vocal style, and new guitarist Keeley Davis delivers smoother accompaniment than the departed Paul Hinojos, who was always a much better bassist than guitarist.

This album does show development in a few places, like the insistent rockers "Taking Back Control" and "The Most Vicious Crime," plus the very effective power ballads "Unstitch Your Mouth" and "Atlas." Unfortunately, the professionalism of this album outweighs the passion by a mile, and other reviewers are correct in making comparisons to late-period U2. This is horrendously evident in "Erase It Again," "False Start," and "Without a Sound" among others. Striving to be as talented and accomplished as your idols is commendable, but Sparta have made a crucial wrong turn in trying to sound like their idols. And overall, this album comes up tragically short on memorable songwriting and passionate playing. Sparta once displayed those strengths in abundance and were ascending toward their own kind of greatness. You really have to hope that the absence of that magic here will only be temporary. [~doomsdayer520~]
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea517bc) out of 5 stars Sounds like Sparta to me... Nov. 16 2006
By E. Hartstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
...all these things about using piano, sounding like the Beatles, Radiohead, and U2, re-defining their sound, etc.

When was the last time you actually listened to Wiretap Scars? I listened to it yesterday, as well as Porcelain, as well as Threes (went to see them last night so was gearing up for the show) and I must say I think Threes is great. Personally, it feels like an expansion of Wiretap Scars for me - almost a more complete sound. The songwriting seems tighter, the arrangements better, they seem to be better musicians. I guess if you like something more raw and unrefined then you might not like Threes, but I don't think it's good enough to not like something just because it doesn't sound like something you've already heard. If you want to hear Wiretap Scars, listen to Wiretap Scars.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea51bf4) out of 5 stars SPARTA does it again! Nov. 25 2006
By Amanda Ball - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I didn't buy the new Threes album for a while after it came out, I actually bought it yesterday. The reason for this hesitation was from all the negative reviews I read online about it. After listening to it for myself, I can't understand why people are having such a hard time with it. Threes is a GREAT album, and I'm glad to own it. People can't be comparing it to Wiretap Scars or Porcelain, it just isn't those albums. It sounds like Sparta, and it's just a collection of new songs that people don't recognize yet. But only listening for a day or two, I have found many songs that I KNOW I will love. It's a great album. You should own it too! And defiantly see them in concert! Tons of energy and Jim Ward is hilarious!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea51fb4) out of 5 stars What happened here?... Nov. 7 2006
By Andrew Hostetler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I must agree with doomsdayer520 & "David Smith"...Their reviews basically say it all...Sparta need to quit redefining and find their soul within...This is a band that has the capability to say something,but they haven't said it yet...Until next time...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea540b4) out of 5 stars Sparta re-invited and re-energized. Nov. 11 2006
By Matthew Nanes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Honestly, I was pretty bummed about Porcelain. It had a few good tracks ("Breaking The Broken", "While Oceana Sleeps") but something had seemed to be missing. There was no extra step taken.

On this album, Keeley Davis (formerly of the very underrated Engine Down) almost single-handedly has given Sparta a much needed facelift. Either that or Jim Ward finally got a new muse in songwriting and is just killing it. From Davis' backing vocals and dissonant guitar lines to the rhythm section of Hijinos and Hajar finally hitting their stride, "Threes" shows Sparta finally taking the next step and making a much more emotional and creative album.

Now I realize the reason why I liked this band more than Mars Volta. With absolute respect to Volta (who I still like) Sparta's writing songs you can actually connect with on an emotional level without posturing behind 15 guitar solos.

Pick this album up, you'll be surprised.

Fans of this album should check out Davis' previous band Engine Down's self-titled album and "Demure".