Deloused was an absolute beast of a record - everything worked. Meanwhile, Wiretap Scars sounded full of potential, but a bit like Jim wanted to be in an alternative U2.
Then Volta went bonkers - Frances was a horrid record, and I interviewed Cedric just as record three was due to land, and he actually said that he and Omar *hated* album one, that the producer (Rubin) had forced the band to pull melodies out of songs and 'pop' them up against their will. Sadly, he also shit-talked quite heavily about ATDI, just trying to burn away any sense of heritage I guess. I remember listening to the third album while we were talking, and just being kinda speechless.
Sparta, on the other hand, with Jim suddenly less nerves and more fire, put out Porcelain and Threes - it turned out they were *good* at being an alternative U2.
I see the Mars Volta fans fighting the good fight being a bit like Lost or Jackson Pollock fans - they call it high art without looking you in the eye. Sparta, however, are just a great rock band.
I don't know why I've written this in a slightly pompous review style. Well, I do: I'm slightly pompous.
BUT I'm right, right?