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The Mars Volta - The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta - The Mars Volta

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September 16, 2022

Clouds Hill

1xLP

The Mars Volta accomplishes the rare feat of both reassuring long-time fans their patience was well placed, and enticing new fans to dive into their catalogue. The self-titled return, after more than a decade of dormancy from the mercurial prog-rockers, fills the latin-tinged-space-guitar-holy-shit-they're-shredding sized hole they couldn't satisfy with the ill-fated At The Drive In reunion, but expands on their idiosyncrasies in a wholly unexpected way: by making it prettier. While no one will mistake the blistering guitars and angular structure, the Rodriguez-Lopez Bixler-Zavala tandem expanded (reduced?) their scope to include melodies gentler than anything they've attempted before. Caribbean rhythms intersect with psych-folk, Bixler-Sazala's cherubic vocals smoulder in hellfire. Not a song extends to the five-minute mark. It would be a far cry from their previous work were it not so unmistakably Mars Volta. It's as triumphant, evolved, and self-assured a comeback as you are likely to hear. Even more so, the fact that it exists at all is cause for celebration.