Porcelain

Emo outfit At the Drive-In is on permanent hiatus, but its followers can console themselves with Sparta, a quartet that includes former Drive-In members Tony Hajjar (drums), Paul Hinojos (guitar) and

Emo outfit At the Drive-In is on permanent hiatus, but its followers can console themselves with Sparta, a quartet that includes former Drive-In members Tony Hajjar (drums), Paul Hinojos (guitar) and Jim Ward (vocals/ guitar/keys). Matt Miller handles bass. The progressive rock bent of sophomore effort "Porcelain" is steeped in a variety of '80s influences. Ward's vocals and songs like "While Oceana Sleeps" and "La Cerca" have a Cure-esque tone, with "Tensioning" reflecting that band at its "Disintegration" best. Skittering guitar notes in "Breaking the Broken" nod to new-wave influences; so do the muted cymbal rappings and the gurgling strings of "Lines in the Sand," where pings of early U2 are heard in its multiple layers. These tunes are among the album's most profound moments, but Sparta isn't afraid to kick out the jams with "Travel by Bloodline" or "Splinters." All 14 cuts are thought-provoking, wistful and dynamic.—CLT