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'Park' And Fly

Sparta"I'm actually just getting to the point where I can listen to my own voice," Sparta vocalist Jim Ward admits. "It's really hard to hear yourself sing, to get used to. I like singing a lot more now. It seems like less of a drag. There are just nights when you suck and it is just the worst instrument of all to control. But you can't trade it for another guitar."

The group, comprised of former members of At The Drive-In, releases its sophomore album, "Porcelain," this week via Geffen. The set is highlighted by a wealth of emotionally resonant rock, from the single "Breaking the Broken" to the raging opener "Guns of Memorial Park" and "Le Cerca."

"Porcelain" is the follow-up to Sparta's 2002 debut, "Wiretap Scars," which debuted at No. 71 on The Billboard 200 and has sold more than 120,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was produced by Mike Major, who worked with the band on its 2002 "Austere" EP, and mixed by Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Jeff Buckley). The group is currently supporting Incubus on its summer North American tour.