Whitesburg KY
Clear
Clear
47°F
 

The Mars Volta show softer side

Audio review


The cover of the latest album by The Mars Volta,

The cover of the latest album by The Mars Volta, “Octahedron,” is shown. (AP Photo/Warner Bros.)

The Mars Volta, “Octahedron” (Warner Bros.). Grammywinning prog-rock wizards The Mars Volta show a softer side but still rock hard on their fifth studio outing, “Octahedron.”

A creative partnership between guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala — who breathe life into their collaborations with the help of various musicians — The Mars Volta soar just as high with acoustic guitars and piano arrangements as they do with blazing riffs and space-rock atmosphere.

The prolific Rodriguez-Lopez effortlessly weaves elements of punk, funk, psychedelia, jazz fusion, and Latin grooves into the mix, while Bixler-Zavala teams a scorching falsetto with an impressive vocabulary on his abstract, metaphorical vocals.

They kick off with a light touch on “Since We’ve Been Wrong” and bring some serious spaced-out funk-rock on “Teflon” and the dynamic “Halo Of Nembutals.” ”With Twilight As My Guide” sounds just like its title with gloomy acoustics and haunting guitar effects, and “Desperate Graves” is a dose of post-hardcore aggression.

The disc closes with the manic 1-2 punch of “Copernicus,” which floats into deep electronics, and the cryptic “Luciforms,” with a trippy opening that builds into wah-wah euphoria.

And euphoric is exactly what “Octahedron” is — yet another indispensable entry in The Mars Volta’s already impressive catalogue.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: “Cotopaxi” kicks hard from start to finish and features a ferocious performance by drummer Thomas Pridgen.

Leave a Reply