A Japanese post-punk band with a dancey slant, Sparta Locals were an active feature of the country's alternative rock scene through the 2000s, winning praise from members of Quruli and Number Girl, with whom they shared the stage.
The group was created in late 1998; its driving force was the high-schooler Abe Kousei (vocals and guitar), who joined with Ito Shinnichi (guitars), Abe Mitsuhiro (bass), and Akihito Nakayama (drums). They started slowly, but gradually built a reputation for their devastating live performances, and in 2002 they debuted with Kanashii Miminari, followed by a nationwide set of shows that included a stint at the Fuji Rock Festival and an opening slot for Quruli, whose frontman, Kishida Shigeru, described their performance as being "so cool it made my nose bleed." By 2003, they were signed by Universal, which handled their second album, Second Fanfare (2003). After that, the band settled on a steady schedule, releasing four albums during 2002-2006 and touring Japan with the likes of Number Girl, Zazen Boys, Fujifabric, and Mo'some Tonebender; they also appeared at the 2005 Nano Mugen festival and on a compilation organized and released by Asian Kung-Fu Generation. In 2006, their progress was disrupted by Nakayama's departure -- he admitted that his skills were not up to par -- and Sparta Locals' relocation to Tokuma, Japan. But the band picked Takeshi Kajiyama as a session drummer, accepting him as a full member in 2007, and kept up its pace with two more albums that followed the yearly pattern. In 2008, the group switched labels again, releasing Leecher on Daizawa Records, but in 2009, Sparta Locals announced their disbandment. ~ Alexey Eremenko, Rovi