Check out this review of The Mars Volta's latest album.
The first 10 seconds of Noctourniquet start like some kind of lullaby slowly churning a little melody. That suddenly disappears and gives way to the nightmare of industrial drums and strange noises that make this, without a doubt, the new Mars Volta album.
Fans of De-Loused in Comatorium or its brilliant follow-up Frances the Mute will wonder where that band has gone but people who stuck by through Amputechture and Octahedron may have seen this album coming. The album is not something that can be casually listened to while trying to complete menial tasks around the house or driving around ... or at least not until you fall in love with it . I actually didn't like the album one bit on first listen. For once, the music started to match the idiocy, bombast and nonsense of the lyrics. For people who hate The Mars Volta, this is the album they've been waiting for to completely write off TMV as the unlistenable band of pretentious prog rock pieces of shit that they think they are. I almost did it after my first listen but, then I went back and tried again and again and again and again.
On my second listen I heard an album that sounded as if the drums were on some kind of geared crank. The crank starts ramping up slowly and when it finally got too tight and the release is let go and the drums come crashing through only to start the process over. This technique is repeated on most of the albums songs and it never gets old.
The problem with Noctourniquet is that it has almost zero song structure, something TMV have played with since Frances the Mute: meandering songs that don't have verses or bridges or even a recognizable hook. Instead the album is filled with free form, stream of consciousness songwriting that includes such lyrics as, "I am a landmine so don't you step on me ... 'cause I can blossom on the petals of an ECT", and "In the time of the sixth slug we are cattle to the prawn." One of the strangest songs on the album is the first single released back in February, The Malkin Jewel, a strange prog rock Tom Wait pirate shanty. That's the only way to describe it.
The guitar heroics that have been heard on previous albums are mostly sacrificed on this album. We get lots of strange guitar fuzz noises and lots of synth stabs, but not many true guitar pyrotechnics. The star of this album is newly-minted fulltime keyboard player Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez (the younger brother of band leader Omar). Unlike on past albums, the keyboards are front and center, as is obvious on the previously mentioned Malkin Jewel.
If you're looking for exciting TMV songs like you've heard before, then you're going to be lost. The most TMV sounding song on the album is MolochWalker.
Overall, the album is highly enjoyable. If you're not a Mars Volta fan already, then there is little chance you're going to like this. This album comes out of left field, especially when you know that this summer members of TMV will be rejoining their old band mates for a few festival shows as At the Drive-In. After listening to Noctourniquet many times, I can tell you that these At the Drive-In dates aren't about making music, they are about making money to create more albums with lots of weird noises. VIVA LA MARS VOLTA!
Written or Contributed by: guitarsmashleyhttp://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/reviews/entertainment-reviews/18722-yoni-takes-a-leak-on-the-mars-volta.html/