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The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,480 ✭✭✭ RE*AC*TOR


    1. Cygmind..vismund cygnus - Is it one song? Is it four songs? I have no idea. One way or another its 13 minutes long. It starts of very mellow until about a minute in, and then explodes in a typical At The Drive-In / Mars Volta style - but with a heavier input from a very funky bass line. At times I found myself nodding along with this, at times I thought "Am I listening to Pink Floyd". This is a really good song and would be really superb live, with changes in tempo abound. I could see a crowd going nuts.

    2. The Widow - Country-tinged? This is different. The music is very much taking back seat to the vocals for the most part. Appears to end about half way through, but manages to crawl along for another 2.5 minutes of distortion ala Metal Machine Music.

    3. Via l'Viaquez - Another very long song - segues in from the distortion of The Widow, but then bursts in with the full band in funk mode - and spanish vocals. Another head-nodder. This is an excellent tune. Interesting mix of funk and what can only be described as somewhere between Carlos Santana and Buena Vista Social Club - but again erupts into the distorted guitar - full drums, it keeps you guessing. In the end its probably a bit long.

    4. Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore - So again four songs in one song. Largely unimpressive. More "straight" jazz tinged. Lulling, slow, plodding. This song is why I hate Prog Rock, its the equivalent of a group-**** between the band members.

    5. Cassandra Gemini - This one is 5 songs in one! A bit of a wake-up after 13 mins of Miranda. This is the most reminiscent song of At The Drive-In. Faster tempo. Stronger vocals. Big long noodley solos, maybe too noodley at times. Probably the highlight of the album.


    My Rating: RE*AC

    Comment: I applaud The Mars Volta for their willingness to experiment - they could have re-hashed the success from the At The Drive-In days and probably brought out a couple of passable if popular albums and eventually sucumbed to mediocrity. However, they have choosen a path probably similar to Radiohead after OK Computer. I think this batch of material would work excellently in a live environment, or listen to it at home for its spooky slighlty off-putting atmosphere - but in reality I don't think this will get too many listens on my mp3 player. On the Mars Volta website the following two lines appear "producer: omar", "running time: one million hrs", I'd probably agree, but not in a good way.


    Rating Guide:
    R - RE* - Crap, appauling ****, may release one passable single eg. Deep Blue Something
    RE*A - RE*AC* - Not bad, maybe run-of-the-mill or genre music - worth one listen eg. The Thrills.
    RE*AC*T - RE*AC*TOR - Excellent, original, permanent music collection resident eg Neil Young, Bob Dylan.


Comments



  • I really really can't get into this album, and I've tried, believe me. I think the songs are just damn long, I start to fade out half way through them.

    I saw a quote somewhere from a review of the album "The Mars Volta ask, why say it in 4 minutes when you can it in 30?"




  • Bloody great album imho. A nice mix of alt-rock-indy-electronica-wozzat.. and what exactly is wrong with longer songs? I tend to take albums as a whole so apart from checking 'whats the name of this track' it doesn't really enter into it.

    Some of the best main-stream new music I've heard in a good while.

    ...and maybe it's worth pointing out that I consider post-OK Computer Raidohead to be the best there is.




  • I like this RE*AC*TOR RE*VIEW format. Oh for the days of rep points.




  • Goodshape wrote:
    Bloody great album imho. A nice mix of alt-rock-indy-electronica-wozzat.. and what exactly is wrong with longer songs? I tend to take albums as a whole so apart from checking 'whats the name of this track' it doesn't really enter into it.

    Some of the best main-stream new music I've heard in a good while.

    ...and maybe it's worth pointing out that I consider post-OK Computer Raidohead to be the best there is.
    I'm not saying theres anything wrong with it, I just said that I think the reason I find it hard to "get into" is that the songs are very long so its hard to get firmilar with any one song (except the start).




  • I like it a lot
    I did prefer at the drive in but mars volta certinaly piss all over sparta
    Its certinaly extremly pretentions but it sounds so great I can forgive it


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