Mars volta are consistent in that they are never frightened of taking risks. Nocturnequet is indicative of yet another leap over the career abyss. this time, Omar et al have created an album that is straight forward, and gone are the lengthy jams and guitar soloing that they were known for. I have to admit, that as an avid appreciator of prog and psych rock, i was a bit alienated on the first few listens. now, more recently as i listen, i see this album as a quick fix of Mars Volta-ism - perhaps the musical equivalent of a shot of espresso before work :). some great hooks here and there, great percussion, nothing too wild; nothing too meandering.
Mars Volts have shown that they can cut down on all the wildness, write an accessible song, and still retain their identity as a band. However, I do hope the insane musicality is back with the next album...
All hail one of the best bands around at the minute.
P.S If you like the Mars Volta, try Zech's Marquise. Brilliant