Mini-Album Review: The Mars Volta, The Bedlam in Goliath

Posted by matt on April 6, 2008

bedlam-in-goliath.jpg Artist: The Mars Volta
Album: The Bedlam in Goliath
Wikipedia Genre(s): Progressive rock, experimental rock, neo-psychedelia, art rock
Matt’s Fav Tracks: Aberinkula, Megatron, Wax Simulacra
# times listened:
Moderate (10 – 25 times)
Matt’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Buy CD: Amazon
Have a listen: Non-DRM MP3’s on Amazon

I remember hanging out at Flying Fish skatepark in Madison, WI back in 2003 when De-Loused in the Comatorium was playing in the shop area. I’m sure I had a common first-reaction of “what in the hell IS this?!” I had never heard such a strange mix of melodies and epic constructions. Some of you could probably write off Mars Volta as simply a prog-rock band, akin to the lot from the 70’s and 80’s, but there is much more there.

As a lover of slick marketing, some of the things I read surrounding this album are both brilliant and quite scary. While on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, lead guitarist/composer Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-Lopez, bedlam-ouija.jpgpurchased a Ouija Board and it became an after-gig pastime of the band. Material for the album came out of these sessions, but while recording they had numerous setbacks (the engineer quit, the studio flooded twice, tracks disappeared, etc. etc.) which the band attributes to the spirits they may have awoke during their Ouija sessions…

So should we believe this, or is it just clever marketing? I don’t think it matters, as this album does sound like something channeled from the afterlife. They even released released the album on a USB thumb drive with MP3’s that looks like a Ouija board controller. Sweet!

So far, of all the people I’ve had listen to this album few have liked it as I have, which is unfortunate. The first track hits you with such a wall of sound that you rarely hear these days. Get this album to diversify your collection… or the spirits may get you! I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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