29 December 2012

The Mars Volta - Amputechture

So whilst I was doing the 1st blog today I had this on in the background.  Was asked to do it ages ago, but it had slipped my mind.  Maybe it was on purpose, an automatic response to the Volta.  Not that I have any great aversion to them, I actually do like what they do.  It just their albums are just usually so epic and long.  I have never had an easy listen to one of their albums yet.  My first experience was when I was having a relax and I was locked in fear by the end of it, mainly because it was fantastic but mostly as it was not what I was expecting.

The was the third release from the natives of El Paso, Texas.  They were formed out of the remains of At The Drive In, when the two main members - Omar Rodríguez-López & Cedric Bixler-Zavala - got sick of the garage rock that had led to ATDI's fame and at their peak they pulled the rug and formed The Mars Volta.  Still rock, but as far away as you can get without an acoustic guitar.  The only reason these guys are not from the 60's is because time travel is still not possible going backwards. 

With guest guitarist John Frusciante (ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers), they crafted a 8 track piece of wonder here.  In comparison with their first two albums, it is a much easier listen.  Now that is not to say it is without it's freak out moments - they are still plenty of them - it is just a lot easier on the ears. All the tracks fit together like a well formed tailor suit and the shiny footwear that has been polished by a craftsman.  However, this is still an release which is going to have the people who dislike this music kept in their boat, and their fans wanting more like a blood crazed vampire on a diet of black pudding lolly sticks.

I find myself sort of in both camps at different times, when in the mood for the Volta I find them uplifting and wonderful.  When not in the mood I want to lock them in a trunk and throw it into a black hole which I hope does not have it's exit point in the loft of my mind.  Today..... I am in the mood, but as this is not over challenging it is not the album for me.  But it has made my choices for the rest of the day slightly easier, and possibly the rest of the locals ears recoil in horror.  If you are new to the Volta, come to this album later.  It is not a bad album, just not a challenge.

6.5 out of Ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

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