2/19/2008

Funk This!


THE MARS VOLTA
The Bedlam in Goliath
(Universal-2008)

We’ve read a review or two of The Bedlam in Goliath out there that complain about The Mars Volta’s allegedly recent fixation with elements of funk, which supposedly rubbed off from touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. First of all, the musical kitchen sink that is the Volta’s 21st century schizoid prog-rock has never wanted for groove, and secondly, the Chili Peppers wouldn’t know what to do with the funk these days if it woke them in the middle of the night from their mediocre slumber of the last 15 years or so.

The Bedlam in Goliath
is another relentless, powerhouse of a record by an outfit hungry to explore and with the chops and songwriting ability to further expand on the musical premise that began with their debut De-Loused in the Comatorium. (Kudos to new drummer Thomas Pridgen for his jaw-dropping playing throughout.) Once again, the band offers up a concept album, this time about the might of the occult, which according to reports reared its ugly head with all kinds of mishaps and delays during the making of the record. It was absolutely worth the grief endured by the band, that’s for sure.


Quite simply, The Mars Volta are the most consistently exciting, experimental, and fearless band of this decade making music on a mainstream platform. And this album is further proof of their immense talents and unwavering spirit.


Highlights: “Aberinkula”, “Ilyena”, first single “Wax Simulacra”, “Goliath”, “Ouroboros”, “Conjugal Burns”.

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