When At The Drive-In imploded, they left a black hole that neither The Mars Volta or Sparta had the escape-velocity to get out of. Sparta took the familiar sounds – the effects pedals and the song structures, but the Volta took the passion and the weirdness that made ATDI such a life-changing prospect. ‘Threes’ goes some way to redressing that perception – with songs like ‘Crawl’ and ‘Without A Sound’, Sparta’s third LP occupies the vague space between stadium-wooing Foo Fighters and the stolid post-punk of ‘Argument’-era Fugazi. Having found his own voice, frontman Jim Ward is no longer “that dude that did ATDI’s back-up vocals”. If Sparta have been damned thus far as the weaker of ATDI’s progeny, let it be so no longer.

Mike Sterry
7 / 10

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