Absolutely amazing EP, by the way, although the other review said it all. In response to Bored, if anyone's interested - no, The Mars Volta are not aided my a drum machine at all. I saw them support the Chilis in March and Jon Theodore, the drummer, plays this all himself - most original, inventive drummer I've ever heard, so the CD is definitely also a must for any drummers as well!
From the ashes of the critically acclaimed el paso hardcore/emo group At The Drive-In came two bands, Sparta and The Mars Volta. Where Sparta went on to make a straight forward rock album, relying heavily on the At The Drive-In sound, The Mars Volta went off to create and different but distinctive sound. Featuring Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez from ATD-I, Ikey Owens former Long Beach Dub-All Stars keyboard player, John Theodore and Eva Gardner, The Mars Volta prove that they are a band that are changing the face of music. With various influences coming to mind whilst listening to the 3 track EP, range from rock, salsa, dub, prog and jazz blended together to make something incredibly special. Cut That City opens with about 2 minutes of haunting effects and electronic noises, which breaks into the sound of haunting keys,raging drums, thumping salsa bass, crazy guitar and of course that amazing voice. Concertina is a slower track but still manages to keep that thumping rhythm going. Eunuch Provocatuer is a 8 and a half minute explosion of sampled effects and voices, manic shredding guitars and an amazing rhythm section.The song also contains a 5 minute dub section. Pitty two tracks Cicatriz and Roulette Dares recorded before this EP, weren't featured. Tremulant is progressive rock for a regrissive world.
So, Sparta vs. Mars Volta. The subject of much debate amongst my friends for some time. Personally, I find Sparta to sound a little like At The Drive-In lite, with uninspired lyrics and a vocalist that tries a little too hard to sound like Cedric. Despite having 2 members of At The Drive-In, Mars Volta sound nothing at all like them, apart from the fact that Cedric Bixler's vocals and utterly insane lyrics will sound familiar to anyone who was a fan of ATDI. The Mars Volta sound, in fact, quite different to anything I've heard before. They even include elements of psychedelia, with haunting keyboards accompanying the wailing guitars very nicely, and Cedric's voice is modified in various ways with the outcome of making him sound more tortured than in ATDI. Tremulant kicks off with Concertina, a track that starts off deceptively loudly with a burst of guitar, fading into a high-pitched ATDI-style riff, just slower. The melody in this track is truly excellent, and is mainly a showcase for Cedric's voice, which sounds better than ever, lapsing into Spanish for a bit, halfway through the song. Second up is Cut That City, a much more upbeat track, and exhibits yet more shimmering vocals. With a punchy bassline. Outside the chorus, guitars don't seem to be showcased that much, instead relying a little too much on effects pedals, while the chorus itself leaves a little to be desired. Eunuch Provocateur is the third and final offering, and what an offering it is. With drums that are so fast they could well be helped by a drum machine (I'm not entirely sure), a spidery bassline and distant, screeching guitars, this is perhaps the best song on the EP, aswell as the only one that seems to not revolve around Cedric's vocals. Overall, it's a brilliant first offering from Mars Volta. The fact Roulette Dares wasn't included was a bit of a surprise and a bit of a shame, really. However, this EP would be worth buying merely on the strength of Eunuch Provocateur, but add the brilliant Concertina, and you have something you should seriously consider purchasing.
For anyone who loves at the drive-in this ep goes some way to fulfilling the promise of relationship of command. mixing super hardcore rhythms with electronica and jazz/prog rock (in a good way though), this is pretty much perfect, but with only 3 songs is likely to make you hate them for not giving us a full-length album.
This Ep is somewhat of a crossover from the late works of at the drive and the building blocks of what would become De-Loused in the Comatorium. The opening track "Cut that City", is classic Volta with a prolonged, quiet intro which opens into an explosive beat and in common with Cedric's future works, abstract vocals. "Concertina", is a little more subdued, Cedric hops from Spanish to english while Rodriguez' eerie guitar riff hammers away. The Closing song "Eunuch Provocateur", is a masterpiece of Mars Volta-esque chaos, backward radio interview pieces open to an explosive riff and unbelievably fast drumming, while constantly changing tempo's adjust the songs dynamic's by the millisecond. Overall and excellent albeit brief debut album by the Mars volta.
Two fifths of legendary Texan rockers At The Drive-In here join forces with a veteran jazz drummer and organsit to produce one of the most startling debuts of all time. Opener 'Cut That City' begins with two minutes of sub octave noise before exploding into a blistering post-punk belter, with the schizophrenic lyrics heavily effected over an other-worldly guitar/keyboard ensemble. The other 2 tracks follow suit, a perfect marriage of electronica and hardcore, that might fail to impress upon first listen but soon you just 'get it'. Even the bizarre mumblings in gutter Spanish work, sounding almost like a divine incantion over the grumbling six-string. "Welcome to this Neo-Tokyo"
This is a very refreshing ep. from a new band consisting of the singer and one of the guitarists of the split-up At The Drive-in. This is very promising, the first two songs are good tracks, the final song is brilliant and in my opinion better than any track from Relationship Of Command(ATD-I's last album). This is not anything like At The Drive-In bar the singing. It is a mix of Punk, Psychadelia and Electronica. This band deserve to be big as it's about time something new and refreshing was applauded by the media and general public, rather than Linkin Park, Oasis and The Strokes. Than again, the applause of the genral public always cheapens the worth of Music.
With the end of ATD-I, the world seemed as if it were going to end for excellent emo. It did. Then came the Mars Volta. What can you say about this release? Simple, buy it......now. This in my opinion is the best release from the mars volta. Loud, raw and very talented. If you're a fan of ATD-I, or any decent music, you cannot afford to be without this brilliant EP.