Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Could we call it Prog Salsa?

It's finally here... Mars Volta's Frances the Mute!

All the leadup is worth it, because it truly is a wonderous record, who's ripple effects, I predict, will rival that of Radiohead's OK Computer. It's a concept album, it's prog-rock, it's looong... three things that could inspire mockery, not admiration. But they pull it off elegantly - one part prog-rock, one part salsa jam, and all the while boiling on the rock setting. At times, it's much more Knitting Factory then 12-sided die, more Bitches Brew then 2112... there's some early Santana, some Funkadelic ("Maggot Brain",) and of course, we have to add Pink Floyd (album cover is by Storm Thorgerson, who also did Dark Side of the Moon.) And throughout, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's insane guitar wizardry and Cedric Bixler-Zavala's Robert Plant like wailings over movement after movement.

The story behind Frances the Mute is taken from found diaries that are an orphan's story of the search for his biological parents. The diaries were found and obsessed over by former member Jeremy Ward. Tragically, Ward died in 2003 of a drug-overdose, and the anguish is felt throughout the epic. Much of the lyrics are in Spanish, and my grasp of the language is currently very rusty, but it a lot of it doesn't require language to understand the terror and emotion pouring throughout.

They obviously could care less about what anyone else thinks of it, and are guilty of self-indulgence to it's fullest... and God bless them for it.

Music Video for "The Widow"
New York Time's "Strike Up the Band in 13/4 time"
Rolling Stone give it 4 stars
Play Louder give it 9 eardrums
Pitchfork predictably calls it "A homogeneous shitheap of stream-of-consciousness turgidity."
E!Online give it an 'A-'
Mars Volta and your daily movement(s)

1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Mars Volta - Frances the Mute
"Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus" - Mars Volta
"The Widow" - Mars Volta
"L'Via L'Viaquez" - Mars Volta
"Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore" - Mars Volta
"Cassandra Gemini" - Mars Volta