Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What to Do Tonight: The Mars Volta

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 9:00 AM

mars_volta.jpg

The Mars Volta has always been about the noise — the rolling, room-shaking, mind-blowing and beautiful noise. On their fifth album, Octahedron, they go kinda quiet, turning down the amps and turning up the soft lights. The lyrics are still so cryptic you’ll need Wikipedia and a bong to help penetrate them, and there’s still a heavy air of pretension hovering over the eight songs. But the Mars Volta sounds like a band uncertain of its future on Octahedron. Apparently they got tired of twisting and turning at 400 mph for marathon sessions, since only one song breaks the eight-minute mark (there are three seven-minute tunes, so don’t worry, endurance fans). Yet without their speed and noise, frontmen Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala sound lost in the cosmos. The opening “Since We’ve Been Wrong” takes more than 100 seconds to break out of its slow drone with some actual music. It also gives you a pretty good idea where Octahedron is headed and why it stumbles so often. “Communion-shaped serpent rays in prism-tail rainbows escape,” Zavala sings on “Halo of Nembutals,” sounding like one of those incomprehensible prog-rockers people used to make fun of. It’s really nothing new for these not-so-closeted prog-rockers, but the Mars Volta used to conceal lines like that in knockout tunnels of noise, not acoustic guitars and plodding 4/4 rhythms. The Mars Volta play House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583, houseofblues.com) at 9 p.m. Tickets: $35. —Michael Gallucci

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation