Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


11 February 2008

Doing Some Sonic Strength Efforts

I've said it plenty of times, but if I wasn't being bike racer I have no doubt I'd still be playing in a band of some sort. Yes once upon a time I was singer/guitarist in a rock rolll quartet. As fun as it was Im pretty sure if I could never be capable of creating as something as unbeliablely intricate and full on crazy as the lastest album I picked up the other day tho...okay, one mans roof is another man's ceiling right, so whatever I say about the Mars Volta's latest creation it really only comes down to the two things on either side of your head and whether whatever comes through them makes you smile or frown. But... every Mars Volta album I have (thats all of them!) are by far the most challenging listen in my musical collection. The fact that they are completely on thier own agenda in terms of musical direction - as in experimenting with sound on so many different levels it is way beyond the drive time shift of most radio stations and

therefore most peoples ears also. It breaks down the barries of what constitutes music as most people know it...and as I said, im sure there would be plenty of people out there who would just call it noise pollution. No problem. Perhaps these are the same guys who think the sound of a Harley engine is the best thing sinc..ahh whatever. Anyway, so this latest album is, well to put it mildly, off it's guts. Incredible drumming, swooping guitar work and a hefty dose of oddball time signatures (4/4 is nowhere in these guys vocabularly) makes this a definate no-no for a lounge room party background soundtrack. Perhaps more fitting on a long solo drive or an ergo session I must admit that I haven't even scratched the surface in getting my ears around this album yet. Their sound is somewhere between freestyle jazz, fused with Latin influence but set in a big rock/metal mould. Yeah. Lyrically imagine cutting every single complex word outta the dictionary and placing them in a big hat...start pulling out them out and then pasting together in a random sensical / non sensical way on the lyric sheet. Still, from being at big At The Drive-In fan (go look these guys up on You Tube and check out the old high school footage...) Cedric's vocal prowess has increase ten fold. Armed with red rag to a bull intensity combined with a vocal range that has to be heard to be believed, to quote one ex Yeti racer now Scottish CX killer it is another level. Okay, so perhaps this post sounds like a spruiker for a sale, but those who hang around me enough know that I love music just about as much as I like bike racing. But this is one sweet album but aint for the faint hearted thats for sure...either way these guys are know how to play thier instruments as if thier life depended on them..and makes a lot of other bands look very, very ordinary at the same time.


T(e)! said...

Hey Whinny!!
Nice post, good to see you on the pulse with musik! Also good..try Oceansize's latest "Frames" or French band Alcest with "Souvenirs d'un autre monde":)

Kat said...

I think this guy is a bit more appropriate music for today:

Happy Valentine's day!