602498627594
Porcelain

Details

Format: CD
Label: GEFFEN RECORDS
Catalog: 281802
Rel. Date: 07/13/2004
UPC: 602498627594

Porcelain
Artist: Sparta
Format: CD
New: Not in stock
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Reviews:

This El Paso quartet's latest full-length smacks of too much time spent fooling around in the studio. Obvious singles with traditional song structures buckle under the weight of unnecessary loops and string arrangements, while free-form guitar epics shamelessly amble toward the 6-8 minute mark. In deep contrast to the short, sharp shocks of the group's debut EP Austere, restraint is in short supply here; only "Syncope," a shimmering 1:19 instrumental, sidesteps the bloated Sparta sound and comes close to satisfying its intent. The Mars Volta apparently cherry-picked the most interesting components of At the Drive In and groups like Thursday play the whisper-to-a-scream card with more conviction.

Porcelain flips the group's sound on its head; the raw wounds of 2002's Wiretap Scars have scabbed over and Jim Ward's vocals-a carbon copy of former bandmate Cedric Bixler, but still the most distinctive component of the music-have been mixed down. "Lines in the Sand" pitches back and forth with a series of attenuated bridges, while "Breaking the Broken" and "Death in the Family" channel the busy rhythms of the Police and pop-friendly '80s prog. The social conscience displayed on "La Cerca" is admirable, an outgrowth of the political identity the group has taken pains to formulate. But it's also somewhat of a pose: Sparta are taking their sweet time trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces after At the Drive In self-destructed, man, and they'd love to have you foot the bill.

"This El Paso quartet's latest full-length smacks of too much time spent fooling around in the studio. Obvious singles with traditional song structures buckle under the weight of unnecessary loops and string arrangements, while free-form guitar epics shamelessly amble toward the 6-8 minute mark. In deep contrast to the short, sharp shocks of the group's debut EP Austere, restraint is in short supply here; only ""Syncope,"" a shimmering 1:19 instrumental, sidesteps the bloated Sparta sound and comes close to satisfying its intent. The Mars Volta apparently cherry-picked the most interesting components of At the Drive In and groups like Thursday play the whisper-to-a-scream card with more conviction.

Porcelain flips the group's sound on its head; the raw wounds of 2002's Wiretap Scars have scabbed over and Jim Ward's vocals-a carbon copy of former bandmate Cedric Bixler, but still the most distinctive component of the music-have been mixed down. ""Lines in the Sand"" pitches back and forth with a series of attenuated bridges, while ""Breaking the Broken"" and ""Death in the Family"" channel the busy rhythms of the Police and pop-friendly '80s prog. The social conscience displayed on ""La Cerca"" is admirable, an outgrowth of the political identity the group has taken pains to formulate. But it's also somewhat of a pose: Sparta are taking their sweet time trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces after At the Drive In self-destructed, man, and they'd love to have you foot the bill.

"