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Wiretap Scars

SpartaAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

Price: $11.55 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2002 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $11.55  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Cut Your Ribbon (Album Version) 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Air (Album Version) 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Mye (Album Version) 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Collapse (Album Version) 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sans Cosm (Album Version) 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Light Burns Clear (Album Version) 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Cataract (Album Version) 5:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Red Alibi (Album Version) 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. RX Coup (Album Version) 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Glasshouse Tarot (Album Version) 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Echodyne Harmonic (Album Version) 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Assemble The Empire (Album Version) 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Sparta Store


Image of album by Sparta


Image of Sparta


If you happened to walk by a certain street in a deserted part of El Paso, Texas last fall, you would have heard unusual sounds amid the clanking next to a furniture factory. Leaking out through the cracks, from what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse, were mysterious sounds of despair, growth, renewal, faith lost, and faith gained. Some of it was melodic, and some was dissonant, but all ... Read more in Amazon's Sparta Store

Visit Amazon's Sparta Store
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Wiretap Scars + Austere
Price for both: $28.54

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 13, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • ASIN: B000069KO6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,536 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When hirsute El Paso, Texas, emo gods At the Drive-In abruptly called it quits and split into two factions--unofficially, the afros and non-afros--dismayed fans feared that it spelled the end for their pummeling, tight-wire guitar rock. Not so. While hairy frontman Cedric Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez did, indeed, venture into weirdo space jazz under the name the Mars Volta, guitarist Jim Ward, bassist Paul Hinojos, and drummer Tony Hajjar stay on course as Sparta. Wiretap Scars echoes the reckless beauty of the trio's former band. The album features raw punk fury on "Cut Your Ribbon," emotional dissonance in "Cataract," and an absurdly exuberant melody ("Glasshouse Tarot") or two ("Mye") scattered about. And it rocks like a bastard. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars damn good! August 17, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Ok, I just got this CD, and it's just simply amazing! Honestly, I wasn't too familiar w/ ATDI, and what I did hear I didn't get into. But I saw Sparta open for Weezer and I was captured by the sound. The lead's voice is loud and raw. But it's also high-pitched, which is a nice change from some of the lower, gruffy-sounding leads of some bands [] you hear on the radio. When he screams the lyrics, he doesn't sound as angry as he may be trying to come across. Instead, it's almost soothing and has a good amount of harmony with it. I've listened to the CD just a few times now, and the lyrics don't seem the kind one can easily relate to. However, they're deliberately intelligent (and not random, as they first sound). Guitars and drums are heavy, and just make this band and this CD a winner. Song #4 ("Collapse") will just tug at your heart strings! I don't care if 0 out of 100 people find this review helpful, this CD's kickin' and just buy the damn thing! DO IT!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful debut August 26, 2002
Format:Audio CD
#1: Everyone should stop trying to link Sparta to At the Drive-In, musically and lyrically. These are two different bands here, and comparing the work of one to the other doesn't do them justice.
#2: The Mars Volta should never be compared to Sparta. There is nothing that links these two bands besides the obvious starting spot of ATDI.
Those being said, one has to approach the CD without comparing it to either of those two bands and simply see it as a debut of a new band from El Paso. From that aspect, this CD is absolutely phenomenal. Filled with catchy hooks, grinding guitars and aggressive drumming, Sparta's first full length, Wiretap Scars, is an immensely powerful debut from a band that prides songwriting over flash and gimmicks.
Instead of trying to be deliberately artistic and overly theatrical, Sparta doesn't do either and lets the songs themselves be the carrying force for the band's power. Songs like "Collapse" are melody-laden and beautifully arranged, perfectly exploiting the dual guitars and stark, naked beauty if Jim Ward's voice. While the more aggressive tracks ("Cut your Ribbon," "Sans Cosm," and "Air") are absolutely splendid rockers, the real parts of the CD that shine are the melodic, slower ones. Songs like "Glasshouse Tarot" (named after the Glasshouse in Pomona California) and "Echodyne Harmonic" (now fully mixed after being "de-mixed" on the Austere EP), which slow down the pace, have beautiful driving beats and soft, enchanting melodies that captivate the listener like nothing else. The increadibly tight playing of the band as a unit is what keeps the music going, as Tony's superb drumming keeps the entire album on check.
Pick this one up for a fresh sound. It's not quite emo, not quite hard rock, but it's certainly one of the best albums of the year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the ashes of ATDI... January 8, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Come two of my favorite albums from 2002, the Mars Volta's Tremulant EP and Sparta's Wiretap Scars. This review will be short, but will point out a few things.
In terms of raw power, between the former ATDI bands, Sparta rocks harder, the Mars Volta is more pretentious yet completely different. It's easy to see where the influences from the juggernaut of At the Drive In came from. Undoubtedly, former fans and former detractors alike will all have an opinion on who is better. I have mine, but this is a review.
In terms of accessibility, there's no question Sparta is easier on the eardrums. The Mars Volta's pretentious fuzzy dub sound and outlandish recording techniques are very different from this album. Again, this isn't a positive or a negative, it just is.
Sparta weighs in, in their most brilliant moments, with tracks like "Mye" and "Cataract." Both are absolutely addicting. Their sound is actually quite eclectic. Their self described term, I believe, is "Tejano Emo", and I'm hard pressed to argue that point.
At the Drive In were revolutionary. I nearly cried the day they broke up, but I realize that there were two different visionary forces pulling this band in different directions. As it stands, both the Mars Volta and Sparta are set to change your perceptions. Buy both today. You can't possibly be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Get Me Wrong... August 27, 2002
Format:Audio CD
...I was upset when At The Drive-In broke up and I am loving both The Mars Volta AND Sparta, but 31+ dollars for an extra song that you get on the Austere EP is a bit much. Just buy the regular Wiretap Scars and the Austere EP.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, but it get's under your skin January 6, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD after hearing it played in a music store. I guess I'm the only reviewer here that never heard of these guys or of their previous band before I bought the CD, so my perspective is a bit different from the rest.
Musically, this band seems to be a mixture of grunge rock/metal screams and crunch guitar with the (pseudo)intelligence and melodic sense of art rock. They're obviously smart and it shows in the lyrics (if only you could acutally understand what they are - more on that later).
Unfortunatley, the musical textures and melodies seem to be immature and somewhat cliched. When I lisiten to the CD, I like what I hear, but someplace in the back of my head a little voice keeps saying "where have I heard this before?" It's too familiar to be original, yet it is very appealing and a good listen. I am surprised to learn that these guys have been around (albeit in a different band) for some time as this effort sounds very much like a good solid first recording from a young band with a lot of potential.
A technical quibble - while the guitars and drums are recorded very well, the bass is, well, it's there someplace but it leaves no impression. The biggest problem by far, however, is that the vocals are so far down in the muddy middle of the mix that they are pretty much unitelligible. This is not helped by the fact that the singer has a thin and plain singing voice (which reminds me very much of the guy that sang in the band Yes a million years ago)that lacks any stand out or distinctive qualities. He is, however, capable of a hearty scream/yell that is used to great effect - or would be if the vocal mix had been done better. Tip to the band: change producers on your next album. Tip to the drummer: Don't rush! Subdivide!
Bottom line: Some good tunes, appealing texures and melodies, interesting lyrics, nicely set off by agressive crunch and grungy power. Sparta shows potentential, but they're not there yet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
awesome wonderful, super, fantastic, grand, grander than grand, exellent, ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Published 21 months ago by cmhun487
5.0 out of 5 stars close second to porcelain
porcelain was how i was introduced to sparta and as far as i'm concerned it's their best album however,i'm questioning that now that i've heard wiretap scars.... Read more
Published on December 1, 2009 by K. Brower
2.0 out of 5 stars Like ATDI Without the Punch
I was super disappointed to see the At the Drive In broke up, especially because I had tickets to see them in concert two weeks later. Read more
Published on September 18, 2007 by Margarine Hype
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartan effort all around
Unfairly compared to At the Drive-In, Sparta represents the culmination of that emo-core energy in a tighter arrangement. Read more
Published on September 11, 2007 by Matthew T. Medlock
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget At the Drive In
I've seen too many reviews marginalizing this album because it's not At The Drive In or Mars Volta - they're right, it's not, and that's why it's brilliant. Read more
Published on February 1, 2007 by Kevin J. Kulp
5.0 out of 5 stars The Veritable Archetype of Alt-Rock
I had been a fan of At The Drive-In, and when that band fractured into Sparta and the more popular The Mars Volta, I investigated both new bands. Read more
Published on December 11, 2006 by Joel Israel
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Foundation for Sparta!!!
This album is instantly palatable, and the grandeur of this work is awesome. Every track is instantly catchy, and the lyrics and music are well put together. Read more
Published on December 1, 2006 by D. J. Barron
5.0 out of 5 stars Wiretap Scars a Solid Foundation for Sparta
This album is instantly palatable, and the grandeur of this work is awesome. Every track is instantly catchy, and the lyrics and music are well put together. Read more
Published on December 1, 2006 by D. J. Barron
5.0 out of 5 stars SPARTA--force unstoppable.
One of my favorite albums, Wiretap Scars, gives the listener such a wide range of Sparta's capability as coming out and making it as their own. Read more
Published on November 25, 2006 by Amanda Ball
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album.
This album start to finish is simply awesome and rocking. Some people don't seem to like Jim's voice compared to Cedric's but personally I've always preferred Jim's. Read more
Published on May 5, 2006 by music va life
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