Rock is From Mars, Prog is From Your Anus

It takes a special appreciation for 10-minute-long, prog-infused orgies of guitar, keyboard, percussion, and brass to dig The Mars Volta. That shit ain’t for everyone. Apparently, it is not for critics, who, after praising the hell out of Volta’s first record, De-Loused in the Comatorium, proceeded to almost unilaterally ravage the band’s next two discs as self-indulgent, masturbatory “shitheaps.” But, then, they said the same thing of Kevin Smith, and look at him now. (Err…bad example.) Look, The Mars Volta is actually the Last-Chance Savior of prog rock. Yes, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – who started the band after splitting from At the Drive In – are both mega-talented in that way that is sometimes detrimental to listenability. But when they get it right – and they do a lot, as with De-Loused and some great moments in Frances the Mute – their blend of metal, hardcore, acid-jazz, and Latino is close to musical epiphany. You’ve got to root for them to get that ship back on track, because you know they could become the next Pink Floyd if they did. Check out that prog-ress as TMV descends on the Fillmore (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) in support of their new album, The Bedlam in Goliath. Tickets cost $36.50; get ΄em at
Wed., April 2, 2008


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