Ever since their 2002 debut, these El Paso rockers have been a reliably cathartic and emotionally charged presence. Those old traits remain, but Sparta have evolved, with a melodic approach and a postdepression, fist-pumping attitude. On the single “Taking Back Control,” singer/guitarist Jim Ward doesn’t simply lament the world’s ills, but issues an anti-Bush call to arms. Still, the band is not healed just yet — a short film included on a special-edition DVD addresses drummer Tony Hajjar’s flight with his family from the Lebanese civil war, as well as his mother’s death.
Now Hear This: Sparta – “Taking Back Control” Download MP3