Athens v. Sparta

Texas Platters

Phases & Stages

Athens v. Sparta

The History of the Peloponnesian War (Absence of Romance)

Athens v. Sparta is exactly what the title suggests: a history of the Peloponnesian War of 431-404BC. Conceived and created by Charlie Roadman of locals F for Fake, the album sets narration by Hyde Park Theatre's Ken Webster from the histories of Thucydides and Xenophon to pleasantly downbeat electronic pop. Roadman's bandmate Kevin Higginbotham plays Nate Dogg to Webster's Warren G, crooning melodic interludes that provide imagined first-person perspective on the conflict. Such a project is necessarily somewhat quixotic: Thucydides' account alone runs more than 300 pages, of which the album can cover only a fraction. So, despite Roadman's best efforts (including an attractive lyric sheet and map), a listener coming to the CD in ignorance will require further reading in order to know what the heck is going on and why. Still, incentivizing the further study of history is hardly a major flaw. (CD release: Saturday, Jan. 24, Cactus Cafe.)

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