Sunday, 22nd July 2018. 8:46:50am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock The Mars Volta- Amputechture

 


Artist:The Mars Volta
CD Title:Amputechture
Label:
Reviewer:Ed Haas
Date: 7-30-06

 

Ever since exploding from the remains of the band At The Drive-In, the Mars Volta have gone far above the call of duty to create prog/psychedelic/punk music that would make even the most stout listener take notice of their seemingly infinite well of potential. Cedric Bixler Zavala’s vocals can spring up memories of a high pitched Trent Reznor, or perhaps a heroin riddled Beth Gibbons from Portishead. Either way, upon listening to the new album, Amputechture, a fine unreleased import from Japan that makes it’s way here to the states this August, one must truly wonder just how far can these cats go? Well, the answer seems to be all the way to the top. What this album does, and what last year’s Frances the Mute accomplished, have given these guys the liberty to experiment with a new sound that can be both as metal as classic Slayer, and as jazzy as Miles Davis…all within one minute of one song! Take the third track, Vermicide for instance, as Cedric takes swooning operatic vocals to a point of such melody and emotion, you can almost hear your glass windows cracking from across the room. Omar Rodriguez provides a powerful guitar riff that shines in cohesion with the other instruments in the song structure. On Asilos Magdalena, a song sung entirely in Spanish, you get the feeling that you’re listening to a mariachi band whose drinks were just spiked with LSD. The song just has that feeling of a long hot sunny day spent in the desert searching for something or someone. Now the lyrics in this album can be puzzling and occasionally non-sensical, but that only lends to the mystery of band itself. The feel for this album can best be summed up by listening to the opener Vicarious Atonement a song where it can be difficult to distinguish Cedric’s vocal prowess from the masterpiece of guitar work done by Rodriguez. The track ends with a lounge-like jazz compilation filled with piano, atmospheric sounds, horns, and vocals that can seduce their way into your heart quite quickly. All in all, a brilliant effort by a band that still seems to be searching for the genre to fall under, and if you are patient with this release, like a good glass of wine, it will ripen into something that goes beyond flavor, and finds itself comfortably in your stereo…for a long time.


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