An intriguing collaboration, Little Sparta are a multinational instrumental act joined by the acclaimed Scottish poet Gerry Mitchell. Mitchell's brooding delivery and the stately misery of the music suggests a more articulate Arab Strap but there are moments when this mini album is wonderfully rich with emotion. 'Ruins' is a great case in point as the violin and harmonium intertwine; like an evocation of Scotland itself, there's an underdog spirit and its mood suggests that whilst both feet are on the ground there's a proud air to it which allows just a hint of optimism. Further, 'Carefully Constructed Ruin' witnesses Mitchell at his most wary ("God give me courage!") whilst Little Sparta's music is at its most fearful. Infact, only the staccato narration on 'All The Saints' outstays its welcome. Ultimately, this is one of the least pretentious and moving attempts at joining up music with the spoken word.