When At The Drive-In first split up, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López founded the Mars Volta as a means to explore their spaciest prog-rock impulses. Meanwhile guitarist Jim Ward started his own band with ATDI drummer Tony Hajjar called Sparta, a more straightforward post-hardcore project that demonstrated what a grounding force Ward had been for his bandmates’ flights of fancy. The newly hyphen-free At The Drive In have been back in action for a few years now, but Ward jumped ship from the reunion early on (perhaps it was a punctuation dispute?), and his absence was felt on ATDI’s lackluster comeback LP. And now it looks like he’s revving up the Sparta engine again.
Circa 2017, this is Sparta: Ward plus returning members Matt Miller and Gabriel Gonzalez plus drummer Cully Symington taking over for Hajjar. Although the band released some new music in 2012, which led to some rumblings about a new album, that never materialized. This time they haven’t shared any such plans yet, but their return is accompanied by a new song called “Graveyard Luck,” a grooving rocker that could be confused for, like, Queens Of The Stone Age. Listen below.