Tuesday, July 25

Track Review: The Mars Volta


"Viscera Eyes"
From "Amputechture"
4.5/10

Over the past few months, The Mars Volta has used their myspace to send their fans info on their newest release. About two weeks ago, The Mars Volta released “Viscera Eyes” from their forthcoming album, "Amputechture", on MySpace. Clocking in at over nine minutes, it had to be put on two separate tracks on the band’s space. Unfortunately, it does not compare with most of the songs on Frances the Mute.

It’s actually kind of like a slowed down “L’Via L’viaquez” with the incomprehensible spanglish vocals and chunky, rhythmic grooves and all. Also, don’t forget the way too heavy drum beat. The one difference, though, is that the song likes to sit on one groove and wear out its welcome way too fast.

Essentially, the first five and a half minutes of the song is all over the starting two-measure groove. Though there’s a bunch of solos/verses in there, but it’s simply structured and easy to guess what’s next. The only time the groove really changes is in the choruses, in which it’s just the band playing one almost-unison figure as Jon Theodore bashes out the same fill over and over again. Needless to say, it gets old pretty fast. Though there are some neat parts, like the dissonant horns in the chorus and the cool noise riff thing (is that a guitar?) after the second chorus.

For the final three and a half minutes, the band for no reason moves into a faster groove. The transition makes little sense, and both parts don’t really fit together. At first, the bass takes over for a little bit with a straightforward two-measure riff, as the band slowly progress in. Then all of a sudden John Theodore gets into a crazy groove that comes out of left field. He also starts playing at a furious pace, hitting cymbals left and right, just as the guitar solo starts. The problem with that is at the beginning of the 2-minute solo, the band has hit their peak volume. So now for the next two minutes, there’s no sense of progression. And they’re supposed to be a prog group.

To be honest, this could be a good song if it was redesigned. (That, and Jon Theodore needs to stop being a spaz, since the act is getting a little tiresome.) But really, they could’ve transformed it into some sort of four minute piece that would’ve made much more sense and had a better sense of progression.

What happened to songs like “Inertiatic ESP” and “Drunkship of Lanterns”? Good or not, after Amputechture I really hope The Mars Volta will consider writing another album along the lines of De-Loused in the Comatorium.

You can listen to the Mars Volta's new single here.

- John Higgins -

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