Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mars Volta Review!

Today we feature a brand new contributor, Casey Buckler, and his review of the latest Mars Volta album, Octohedron.

After winter must come spring, the laws of the universe not only dictate the seasons but they also have an effect on The Mars Volta. A spiritually conscience group, the sextet led by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, has guided his band mates into an open field and asked them to breathe in the fresh air. Although Rodriguez-Lopez writes everything you hear on this and every other Mars Volta record, you can feel that the players enjoyed a break from driving 100 MPH all the time. On this record, Octohedron, the speed limit is about 47 MPH.

The very first song is a ballad, the exact opposite from their last full length album, The Bedlam in Goliath, which opens with the equivalent of a seven-headed tiger ripping a man to pieces in front of a crowd of nuns. I really don’t like to compare a band’s newest effort to their previous, simply because I believe a band should grow from one album to the next, but in this case it is really hard not to put these two albums beside each other and see the blinding progression.

Once you reach past the expectations of what this band is known for and let the music on Octohedron take you away into new territory, it's not hard to enjoy the ride. Not because of where you’re being taken to but the fact that you can breathe while you’re enjoying the ride. From the beginning to the end, there is a relaxing, almost sub-conscience synthesizer sound pulling you to the next song. Ever since the Pink Floyd masterpiece, Dark Side Of The Moon, bands have tried to seamlessly run one song into the next. I’ve only seen a handful of bands pull it off; Queens of the Stone Age with the album Songs For The Deaf, Sigur Ros with the album ( ) ( known as the Parenthesis Album) and now The Mars Volta with Octohedron.

This album is definitely one that could stay in your CD player for a good month without seeing the light of day. You would normally have to get your hands dirty looking for music as gratifying as this, but if you know what The Mars Volta are capable of, you shouldn’t have to look too far... Just wait for their next album.

By Casey Buckler

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