A new label (Hollywood Records) and a new guitar player (Keeley Davis) seem to have invigorated the mighty Sparta, resulting in an exchange of shadows with the often mightier At the Drive-In. While Sparta's previous releases have shown a knack for the brooding, bloody-fingered antics championed by bands like ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and British Sea Power, the memorable moments have been few and far between, something that has changed considerably with Threes. It only take 30 seconds into "Untreatable Disease" to see the spark returned to the once meaningful term emo, as vocalist/guitarist Jim Ward finds the middle ground between Jeremy Enigk's "Jack-in-the-box" howl and Brandon Flowers cocky but ruined self-assurance.
It's a simple law of physics hypothesized by Galileo: A dropped object steadily increases its velocity as it nears the Earth's surface. Enter At the Drive-In dropouts Sparta. After El Paso's ATDI hit rock bottom unexpectedly, Sparta released the highly anticipated and addictive Wiretap Scars. Good, but no "One Armed Scissor." 2004 found Porcelain marketability, introduced a swan motif, and ended a relationship with Geffen.