Friday, 23 April 2010

The Mars Volta - The Bedlam In Goliath

This band, on the evidence of their amazing first album released in 2003, De-Loused In The Comatorium, should have gone on to be the most creative force in modern prog. I gave up on them after the 3rd album Amputechture, as they seemed to be suffering badly from the law of diminishing returns. This sense of disappointment was compounded by seeing them live in a sweaty pit somewhere in England. Never in my 36 years of gig going had I seen such a bunch of self-absorbed pretentiousness at work, disappearing up their own fretboards. Not once in 2 hours did any band member acknowledge the audience.

However, rather like a scab, I can't leave them alone, so we turn to the 4th album, 2008's The Bedlam In Goliath. If you're in the mood to be battered by relentless noise, this album ain't bad at all, although I can't imagine I'll play it as much as the brilliant first album.

Analysing each track is pointless, as they meld into one noisy beast complete with semi-screeched impenetrable lyrics, but for some unfathomable reason I quite like it. The horns seem more to the fore than before, which is no bad thing. "Agadez" stands out because I can actually tell what he's singing about, and it's played at 150 mph intead of 200!

The only constant annoyance on the album is the over fussy drummer, who could do with a few "less is more" lessons.

Overall, almost a return to form. I won't be seeing them live again though!
3 out of 5

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