The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium (Cover Artwork)

The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta: De-Loused In The ComatoriumDe-Loused In The Comatorium (2003)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: rocksolidaudiorocksolidaudio
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Reviewing this album is like trying to explain what a rainbow looks like to a blind person, but I'll try my best. And i'm not trying to sound like a pretentious prick, which is the first inevitability when discussing the Mars Volta. There's really nothing to compare this album to, and no place to pu.

Reviewing this album is like trying to explain what a rainbow looks like to a blind person, but I'll try my best. And i'm not trying to sound like a pretentious prick, which is the first inevitability when discussing the Mars Volta. There's really nothing to compare this album to, and no place to put it in the fold of current music. Or from any time or place, for that matter. Music is arguably the most objective medium of entertainment, and this album is the epitome of that argument. But with that said, I still feel that this album divides people into two groups: those who like the Mars Volta, and those who don't understand the Mars Volta.

Most bands can be forced into a genre if it comes down to it, at least in description. But to do that with the Mars Volta defeats the very purpose of their existence. Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez left At The Drive-In because they felt limited. They toured for almost six years straight, culminating in the release of Relationship Of Command and a brush with commercial success. But they tired of playing more or less the same set of songs every night. In fact, they tired of playing songs whose lengths and structure they couldn't change at will all together. In the summer of 2001, the duo of afroed gods started the Mars Volta with Ikey Owens (Long Beach Dub All Stars) and Jeremy Ward, members of their dub band Defacto. Somewhere along the way they hooked up with drummer Jon Theodore (Golden, Royal Trux, H.I.M.), a student of "voodoo drumming" in Haiti, and bassist Juan Alderete (Racer X). In the spring of 2002, Tremulant was recorded, a 3-song, 19-minute teaser of what was to come from the band, who were rapidly making a name for themselves. After a short tour and the acquisition of Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run DMC, System Of A Down, Slayer, Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy) at the producing helm and Flea on bass, the band was ready to record what would become one of the most important albums ever, De-Loused In The Comatorium.

De-Loused is a concept album, a dedication based on the death of Julio Venegas, an El Paso artist who killed himself in 1996. It chronicles a first suicide attempt, a subsequent coma, the emergence from it, a final successful attempt, and the reflection afterwards. Its eight tracks (recorded in a "haunted" house in Laurel Canyon), interwoven with one another, form up as an hour of music that truly expands minds and destroys expectations. Adjectives to describe the sounds within aren't exact the norm: Expansive, uncompromising, ethereal, sexy, morphing, cascading, overtaking. Alternately recalling but never imitating Led Zepplin, Miles Davis, Fugazi, Santana, and Pink Floyd, this album is just as important and just as amazing as any before it.

De-Loused begins with 'Son et Lumiere', one of two short songs on the album, serving as intros. The anticipatory, nervous keyboard builds in the background as Cedric's otherworldly voice permeates the relative quiet. The drums start loud and powerfully shortly after, never letting up again, as 'Inertiatic Esp' begins with the snarl of "now I'm lost...". From those very first words, the Mars Volta enchant, pull you in, and never let go, even long after you've turned off the album. This song is probably the closest thing they could have to a single, with a relatively normal structure (and at 4:24, it's also the shortest non-intro song on the album).

I'm not going to discuss each song in-depth individually, because I have neither the vocabulary nor the capacity to describe them, but I would like to discuss some highlights and special parts for me. 'Drunkship Of Lanterns", with it's intricate bassline and salsa drumming is a favorite of mine. Cedric and Omar's voices pierce, weaving amongst the rhythms. It has been said that Theodore's drumming is 40% of this album, and nowhere is it more evident than in this song. The song breaks down and falls apart, only to build itself back up again in a flowing audial assault, capping off in a dark, industrial pulse of noises. 'Eriatarka' demonstrates just what Cedric's voice is capable of, reaching unimaginable heights and dynamics, then diving back into snarling poetry. Many of the words and phrases that he uses throughout the album are strange enough to be abstract, but familiar enough to form meaning in your head while you listen to it. His writing is totally uncompromising and selfish (in that it rarely nears simple understanding), and I wouldn't want it to be any other way. When he starts singing about exoskeletal junctions you'll know what I'm talking about. 'Cicatriz Esp', the 12 minute long defining moment of the album, explores the musical themes presented so far as fully as possible, sounding like several entirely different songs at different points throughout. John Fruiscante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers joins in on guitar, providing even more backing, tiptoeing through quiet parts and grooving out on the more intense parts. Halfway into the song all sound almost disappears, seeming distant, even underwater, only to return in a shimmering explosion of shaking drums and reaching guitar. When Cedric's voice returns, it sounds more beautiful than ever before, echoing and probing into the atmosphere, quivering with power. 'This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed' rocks with the anger of sadness and demonstrates just how much this band can emote when they want to. 'Televators' starts as the softest song, with deep mournful bass and delicate, slow guitar. The vocals soar over it when needed, and receed again just when it's getting too intense.

Rick Rubin's production really shines throughout the album; the little things that weren't in the earlier demos make all the difference. The reverb on the drums in 'Roulette Dares (This is the Haunt)', Flea's subtle trademark scales in the background, reverse echoes, birds chirping - it's all subtle, but it adds up to so much more than the sum of it's parts. 'Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt' wraps up the cd perfectly, maintaining a relatively sane beat with rock drums and guitar, until a little over two minutes when it all mushes together and then swells back up to straight up rockularity (you dig that made-up word?). After another verse it fades back to a haunting organ soundscape, then onto an oddly-timed electronic mish-mash of noises and instruments, all ending in a chill bass solo. Guitar joins in shortly after, slowly intertwining until they finish the song up together, rocking back into the chorus, and ending with Cedric almost pleading "who brought me here?", seemingly a sign of teetering on the brink of getting lost in his own thoughts and symphonies.

The story and emotion of Venegas' death is felt throughout, and becomes even more poignant after the May 25th drug overdose of sound manipulator and longtime collaborator and friend Jeremy Ward. This album stands as a monument to both of them, a fully realized vision and execution.

De-Loused couldn't be more rewarding, and only gets better every time you listen to it. You hear new things with every listen, and I really can't see myself ever getting sick of any of the songs. The songs constantly reward their own curiosity, finding new paths and segues everywhere, seemlessly transitioning and ebbing into and out of breakdowns and deconstructions, and constantly shifting back and forth in the different levels established within each song. This album is groundbreaking, in the truest sense of the word. If the mainstream audience can set aside their preconceived notions of what music should be, and open their eyes and ears enough to be able to handle the Mars Volta, this album could change millions of peoples views of what music can represent and how it can be structured. And having a big label and an established audience could really help propel the Mars Volta into the minds of the media and the hands of the people, positively influencing music and future bands everywhere.

I know that these are sweepingly dramatic statements, but I wholeheartedly believe in them. This is the kind of music that might take one, two, or every ten listenings to even begin to absorb, but once you start to you'll begin to see just how deep it goes, and just how much you can get out of this record. If you don't understand it, or aren't ready for it, the Mars Volta understand. Many people won't be, and that's why this album won't top the charts. But it will make you realize that the music you've been listening to has boundaries, and it takes a band this good to break them. At least it did for me. And now the choice is up to you.


People who liked this also liked:
At The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandThe Mars Volta - Frances The MuteAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutThe Mars Volta - AmputechtureAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitAt The Drive-In - In/Casino/Out

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
viper77 (September 2, 2007)

It doesnt seem that humans could create this...

spacepeople (February 28, 2007)

I don't know where the last guy's idea of "street cred" comes from. Regardless, I happen to love the music on this album. That entire statement coming from a Sonic Youth fan pisses me off more than a little bit. "Ditch the tight pants"? "Break the thick rimmed glasses"? What . the. Fuck.
Arguing that "at least the lyrics make sense" is not only completely objective, but also seems to be at odds with appreciating SOUND ITSELF. Which, if you actually HAVE been to a Sonic Youth concert, is something completely central to the entire idea behind their band. Music is not superficial allegory.
Placing more importance on "meaning" than on sound itself is just Fucked.
And buddy, I've got Daydream Nation. I've been to Sonic Youth concerts. They are both pretty regularly at the top of my list. But your preachy criticism is baseless and quite misguided.

spacepeople (February 28, 2007)

I don't know where the last guy's idea of "street cred" comes from. Regardless, I happen to love the music on this album. That entire statement coming from a Sonic Youth fan pisses me off more than a little bit. "Ditch the tight pants"? "Break the thick rimmed glasses"? What . the. Fuck.
Arguing that "at least the lyrics make sense" is not only completely objective, but also seems to be at odds with appreciating SOUND ITSELF. Which, if you actually HAVE been to a Sonic Youth concert, is something completely central to the entire idea behind their band. Music is not superficial allegory.
Placing more importance on "meaning" than on sound itself is just Fucked.
And buddy, I've got Daydream Nation. I've been to Sonic Youth concerts. They are both pretty regularly at the top of my list. But your preachy criticism is baseless and quite misguided.

thurstonXwhore (February 13, 2007)

Sonic Youth may stink now but at least they've retained their street credibility. Something these guys lost ages ago. Take your thick black glasses and break them, buy some jeans that fit you, cut your hair like a normal person, and then pick up Daydream Nation or some shit. At least the lyrics make verbal sense and the music actually goes somewhere.

Sympathyforthedevil (September 19, 2006)

You had a great review... rather long but interesting to us fans of this band whom of course are going to be the majority who even bother to read the review. I just liked the way you wrote it. Just so you are aware, you are being a little over optimistic form my point of view because this album is great to listen to completely the first time nd then... the tracks just get too long. Otherwise I agree completely from the loving to the not understanding of them.

treos (July 29, 2006)

I love Televators. Incredible Cd, Incredibler Review ;)
Score is for the review

dangertrevor (June 21, 2006)

My oppinionated ass says this is probably the best album by them. Easily one of my all-time favorite albums by any band.

HeresLookinAtYou (April 24, 2006)

rocksolidreviewer is more like it

awesome review - even better album

Anonymous (January 16, 2006)

It's an honor for the mars volta to be compared to rush or bands such as king crimson. Who said that Prog and art rock made rock music boring? It was over the heads of people without brains. It made music harder to compose. Thats what the mars volta are doing. Finally no more simple punk shit that everyones used to.

Anonymous (April 1, 2005)

Punk or not, this is one of the most astounding records I have ever heard.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

The Mars Volta is the best fucking band. Omar is one of the best song writers i have ever heard.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

The best damn album in a long time

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

The people who have criticized this album have probably only listened to it one or two times. DitC grows on you the more you listen to it. Muvch better than the shit out now you like for a week and stop listening to. The album flow is amazing, and the musicianship is among the best of the best. Complexity may turn away many, but it keeps me hooked.

Anonymous (October 10, 2004)

simply the greastest musical experiance ever created.

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

this is the tops
i listened to it the other day with my brother in the car....
....he said "tell me how this is better than New Found Glory"......my older brother at that.

I just laughed and turned up the volume

Anonymous (July 31, 2004)

I don't know why people argue about the music and if its punk or pretentious or whatever.

Music is to be listened to, absorbed and enjoyed, not to argue over. If I wanted to do that I'd put on a god damn suit and run for office.

Something is wrong with people that they have to make it way too much trouble over this. Just listen and make music its that simple.

Anonymous (July 14, 2004)

A great album,really. Their drummer must be some kind of alien. But there's something wrong with me: i listen to Comatorium and then put on The Strokes and feel happy about it...what the fuck?

titsandtats (June 28, 2004)

absolutely one of the best albums. ever.

Anonymous (June 13, 2004)

album of '03
I wish they didnt keep their lyrics so encrypted... I understand imagery, but Mars Volta is too difficult

Anonymous (May 13, 2004)

This is the best album i have eer heard, i have to force myself to buy other albums now becasue i know i should listen to lots of different types of music, but i cant, i just keep listening to this album, it is so beautiful and perfect in every way, it is the best album i have ever heard, and on just a side note i saw them live and it was the most amazing musical experience of my life, the music takes over your body. Get this album and listen to it, i can almost promise you it will be legendary

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

This album is amazing. Truly.

Anonymous (March 12, 2004)

as was said in the beginning .. you either love them or don't understand them.. and does it matter if you understand the lyrics..it's deep emotion and the music is amaaaazing!!! this is one cd i don't get tired of listening...they are from my hometown and i have turned MANY people onto them because of how unique their soud is.. they are completely off the hook live,..and you just gotta have an open mind to their sound.I HIGHLY suggest checking them out !!!

Anonymous (February 4, 2004)

Seriously, buy this album. Every instrument on it is played fantastically, the vocals are some of Cedric's best, and the album, overall, is a listening experience unparralled for myself in quite some time. Don't expect ATDI or Sparta, in fact don't expect anything. Just grab your headphones, sit back, and immerse yourself in the world of The Mars Volta. It's intense, it's often strange, but it's certainly never dissapointing.

Anonymous (January 15, 2004)

You do not know the joy reading your review of de-loused just gave me. You just said what I have been thinking and feeling about this band and album to the exact feelings and thoughts you wrote about.You have just proved yourself to be one of the greatest rock journalists, and open minded person about music I have ever come across. I commend you and wish the best for you and The Mars Volta in the future. You have both proved to be geniuses in your own right.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

i agree

Anonymous (November 5, 2003)

Album of the year by far

InaGreendase (August 15, 2003)

"very, very good review, seriously one of the best i've ever written, off any website or magazine or zine period"

whoops. not written, *read*

relay1112 (August 2, 2003)

I guess I'm a little late, but for the stragglers, here's my take on this album:

(1) This is NOT super-groundbreaking. Just because you picked it up cuz you know the members from a former band doesn't mean there's nothing else out there like this. Sure, it's more unique than Sparta, but it's not the only album of its kind.

(2) Doesn't it throw anyone else off that it's supposed to be a chronicle of this guy's life, yet the lyrics make absolutely zero sense? I'm sure you could make the argument that the it chronicles his life by pure emotion or just the music itself, but I can only make sense of a few individual lines; 99% of the album is nonsense.

(3) It's good, but not perfect. Some of the breakdowns were placed there simply to be breakdowns (ie: "Cicatriz ESP" has a couple minutes of bullshit guitar noodling that has no solid point). The majority of the music is solid, but some of it was put there just to make a song longer. I could do without that.

(4) Final opinion: it's a very strong release, but far from perfect. I'll give it a 9.

at_the_drive_in_21 (July 25, 2003)

I have a few things to say. First - this album is fantastic. Sure - a little overhyped by the review, but still refreshing to hear such an ambitious band exploring such diverse sounds.

Second - As one poster said, something to the effect of "you guys act like you've never heard a prog rock cd before." Said post nailed this right on the head. Sure, its groundbreaking for a band just coming out of a band writing songs with more structure like At the Drive-In, but groundbreaking music as in it sounds like something no one has ever done before??? No way. Sounds like a fusion rock jazz hybrid to me with a little more emphasis on the rock or prog rock whatever. Bands were doing stuff in this vein in the 70's, just in a more underground sense. I can link this to the more spaced out jams of guitarist Tommy Bolin in his last few years, or maybe John McLaughlin's, or Billy Cobham's fusion work in the 70's. All great stuff, and in the same vein.

Third - I saw them in Toronto (sold out show!?) and The Mars Volta as a live presence is unequaled by anyone I've seen in a long damn time. If you're into the stuff on the record - just wait til you see them perform it live. Extended jams, more experimental guitar work that has a Hendrix vibe when Omar plays up the feedback effects, which is often. Cedric is just as energetic onstage as he was in At the Drive-In, and its amazing how much his voice has developed since his later work with ATDI. I read something on here a while back comparing his otherworldly vocals to those of Bjork. Couldn't be more on the money with that one.

Great album - can't wait to see them again.

Anonymous (July 19, 2003)

Most of the people who are commenting negatively toward the Mars Volta are just doing it because everybody else loves them, and they want to be different.

Cursive - The Ugly Organ?

Better than De-loused? You sir, are an ass. The Ugly Organ is very good, but it has very low points.

Could someone please explain to me how the Mars Volta are pretentious? They play chords with more than two notes in them? They like sound effects? The only thing that can be remotely pretentious is Cedric's lyrics, which most people believe are nonsense, but if you actually read them they are a lot better than most lyrics out there. The only song I have no clue what the hell he is talking about is Roulette Dares.

lalombriz (July 17, 2003)

"It's just music. There's no need to make some huge artistic statement over some guy who committed suicide. He may have been one of those "artists" that crap on a cardboard box and call it "a reflection on my emotions about the state of the country as we enter into a time of post-war and destruction". "

then i guess all you need is a print of the poker playing dogs, right?

who the fuck are you to be so judgemental?

Anonymous (July 17, 2003)

Well, you either love it or you hate it, either way it's been one of the most anticipated albums of the year for punkers all around the globe. In my opinion it's one of the most well put together albums ever created. All you people out there bitching because it's not the clash. SUCK IT UP. cedric's voice is in its absolute prime and omar tears through the santana-esqu riffs (yes there are other types of music out there other than punk). It's my strong belief that this album will stand the test of time because of the wide demographic it appeals to. One cannot doubt the fact that the production on this release was well thought out and taken with maticulus care. The playing takes prog/punk rock to a whole new level. The style re-invents the genre completely. However, those are not the number one reasons why this is quite possibly one of the greatest albums ever recorded. The top reason why it's so amazing is because they don't give a shit what you think about the music. They wrote music to write music. The raw emotion is like a fist that reaches out of the speaker and hits you right in the face. That's why it's great, they poured everything they had into this album just like at the drive in did with each show. you feel tired after listening to this album because you are so emotionally exhausted from feeling everything they felt in the studio. For someone who has been in the studio several times before, and who has produced several other times before, I can see and fully respect everything about this record. It's ballsy, intense, full, and perfect. Thank God for this album. It's not punk, it's not anything. It just is!

inagreendase (July 15, 2003)

WOW, i just read pitchfork media's review of this album. very, very good review, seriously one of the best i've ever written, off any website or magazine or zine period. i agreed with that opinion more, maybe that's why i think it was a better review..this was still a great fuckin review. go read pitchfork's version, these people know how to intelligently bash, and they do it well.

Anonymous (July 12, 2003)

Excellent album, and as the reviwer points out, it gets better by every listen. It's like a modern Mozart, only with guitars, bass, drums, other weird instruments and one breathtaking voice. If this doesn't deserve 10/10 then I can't think of one album that actually does.

Anonymous (July 9, 2003)

best album in years...

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

pitchfork's review owns this. this album is pretentious shite

Pink_Robots (July 7, 2003)

This album fuckin rules. Cedric and Omar did what the rest of the old at the drive in guys didnt(SParta). The mars volta is in its own place in rock. Hopefully they hold it together better than A.T.D.I.

Anonymous (July 5, 2003)

It may be overhyped, but Deloused is an instant classic.


Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

i'm sure if you guys have ever talked to cedric or omar, you'd know how much they love music, and how much it drips off of their tongues.

they dont do the crazed stage antics for attention, they do it because you cant hold back in rock n roll.

there's more heart in this cd, than any band in recent history.

i dont see why people have to bring these guys down as attention getters. they could do the whole Thursday thing, i'm sure (and probably make Thursday look real bad). They could do what's trendy, a shoe-in for sales. but they didnt, do you think there's one radio single on this disc? there's no MTV music, and its not carbon copies of cool bands in "scene".

The Mars Volta's a band who wanted to do their own thing, and NOT make music that kids everywhere constantly complain about. They did a damn fine job with it. And now you bash them for wanting attention.

I really hpoe you guys grow up, and fine something else to occupy your time, and do soomething positive at the same time...

i had to defend these guys,


Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

"why did they just recycle "cut that city" into cicatriz esp?"

the demo of cicatriz esp floats around the p2p programs as cut that city. it's actually a totally different song.

Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

This record has made me care about music again...i hope their originality is contagious, the record blows everything else away...

dignin (July 3, 2003)

I thought pitchfork was a way off, a 4.8? Thats just ridiculus, it deserves at least a 7.5.

Anonymous (July 3, 2003)

good shit man... gooood shit.

I-type-poorly (July 3, 2003)

why did they just recycle "cut that city" into cicatriz esp?

umm. those songs don't sound the same at all. cicatriz is a lot lot lot slower and has totally different lyrics.

Anonymous (July 3, 2003)

i just read pitchforks review, and if that review the press release, namedrop 30 bands that show i write for a music publication/website, doctor psychobabble is honesty, ill pass.

I have an elitist headache now. Talk about jaded, cant enjoy records, of course i have an internship bullshit you cant take.

Look, its a good record, it doesnt make me hard, but it helps part my hair.

christ, what a long winded review. Thats what i hate the most about mainstream reviews, they never go good or bad, they just draw it out long enough that anyone love or hate can think the review is agreeing with them. So Pitchfork spent all that time hedging bets and playing all sides so they could tell me it doesnt sound like Santana (which ive never heard anyone saying despite there insistence), and Cedric still writes Cedric lyrics. Give me a simple thumbs up/down.


waste_elite (July 3, 2003)

"i don't give a shit about pitchfork's backlash movement"

eh? so that's what they call honesty these days.

ElVaquero (July 3, 2003)

why did they just recycle "cut that city" into cicatriz esp? personally, i really enjoyed the chorus on that song (reminds me a lot of muse's "darkshines"), but at least they improved the overall song, even if the chorus was halved in goodness. incredible fucking album by the way, i don't give a shit about pitchfork's backlash movement, this is just good music.

pwfanatic (July 1, 2003)

i just got this album for 7 bucks from best buy and it was the best buy of the week...aside from the new ptw.

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

I know, there has been an unrealistic amount of people that claimed that this cd is great, but man i just bought it, and i love it.

hate, Jesus

aubin (July 1, 2003)

I can't believe I agree with Pitchfork because we almost always disagree, but I completely support their review of this record.

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

I had refused to read any reviews of this record before I bought it, so my reaction would be as pure as possible. Fantastic.


Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

There's definitely some sore ass being severely kicked by Smores Cereal, but Ice Cream cereal? Can't say I've heard of such a thing, what is it like? Cone-shaped marshmallows are the first guess off the top of my head.


Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

i don't "understand" the mars volta, but i do understand that burroughs is rolling in his grave, wishing he had a fix to drown out this horrible nonsense that people will sadly say is influenced by his work

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Shindo, I just have a personal qualm with the Clash, I apologize for forcing it upon you. Thanks for getting my point.

- sfbarker

adam (June 30, 2003)

sfbarker: How the hell did The Clash somehow cause punk to loose it's working class character? What are you basing that on? The Clash DID branch out, but they just incorporated the sounds of other similarly street level musics. Look at what they fused: ska, punk, reggae, folk, rockabilly, early new york rap. How are any of those "high brow" forms of music. It's not like they went out and started sounding like Yes.

Aside from that (gotta defend me Clash), I pretty much completely agree with you.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

It's horseshit, yet you give it a B. Although this may seem pretentious, this isn't new york art-scene rock. It's a continuation of what they wanted to do. They broke ground with ATDI and are still doing it.

waste_elite (June 30, 2003)

pitchfork's review was very accurate

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

oh my lord. words cannot express how what this record makes me feel. it's beautiful.

sfbarker (June 30, 2003)

Also, one typo, I don't HATE the album...I do have it. Well, a burned copy, because I don't pay for pompous horse shit.

sfbarker (June 30, 2003)

Oh yeah. Hi, I'm Samuel...I just logged in.

sfbarker (June 30, 2003)

You son, are a dipshit. A) You are more punk than I could ever be, you call anyone who doesn't agree with you a nazi or Hitler. You're the coolest kid ever.

Alright, your reply just goes to show how you are definitely one of those kids who is falling all over this album simply because it's got big words and computer sounds you can't comprehend, so it must be cool. If you can't even begin to comprehend the simple message I stated before, you are in need of some sort of enlightenment. Of course, when I was 16 I was blown away when new bands ripped off old staples.

I actually don't have the album, I'd give it a B. I just know that music like this and this music are made not to push the envelope or to express some deep seeded emotion, it's made to look cool. But, if you couldn't get that out of the post before, I doubt you will now.

I'm saying the even bands like the Talking Heads, who were THE most innovative band to ever fall under the "punk" moniker didn't try to use big words in their titles and get all pretentious on everyone. They loved their music and their art too much to use it as a vehicle for gained credibility and popularity. This album reeks of the artsy pretentiousness that has destroyed the indie music scene and made the arts a joke in the United States. Rather than allow it to be expression, it's been turned into a competition. Who can be more vague, who can come up with the deepest sounding titles, who can act the most random in interviews, etc. It's turned into an artistic circle jerk where people are trying to outdo one another and be crowned king Prog Rocker or whatever you call the title.

I grew up in Texas and saw ATDI a few times and never recall seeing the same set over and over. It all comes down to Omar and Cedric wanting a place to be more artsy and more with the psuedo-intellectual fanboys than staying with the sweaty rock confines that ATDI survived in.

My problem with most of this is fan boy reviewer getting his dick hard over the band and calling people who are rehashing old territory "gods" and "innovative". It's just ridiculous.

Just like Folk, Punk was a working class music. It's supposed to relate to everyone, not the hi-brow, psuedo-intellectual. All true art is based in life and that's where punk originally had the right idea, then the Clash was born and ruined it like every band since the Sex Pistols. Punk is a bad joke now, really bad. So, I will recant and say this album fits finely in the confines of punk, it's a narcissistic display of absurd ideals and rehashed mellodies. It's Pink Floyd without common sense.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Musicianship alone makes this one of the top three albums that I have heard over the last couple of years. It doen't hurt that this album was produced by Rick Ruban, one of the most important persons in music history. Yes this album bleeds such classic artists as Santana, Rush, Zeppelin and a little Floyd. However, most musicans are inspired by the greats that proceeded them. This album does not rip off the classic artists mentioned above, it merely makes a sort of modern connetion with them.

As far as this being a concept album, I feel that more muscians should attempt to create such. At a time when the single (yes punk elites its inflitrated your scene as well) is becoming more popular than ever, it takes guts and devotion for artists to create such a project. Props to Mars Vota for their successful debut.

FortyMinutesWest (June 30, 2003)

Don't be a dick, I like this and I like Pennywise

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Dearest Samuel,
Your very view of "more punk than you" is the reason punk music has suffered through many years of being solely underground. Now it has emerged, yes I will admit with new ferver. One fueled by kids who have been fans for years finally getting a voice. And yes the main stream media is devouring "punk" and over saturating it with crappy versions of corporate punk. But to voice out against a band that has broken boundaries, perhaps with influences from bands of yester year does not make them crap. In fact your comments saying that artistic music should be left out of punk are completely ignorant. Every piece of music can be viewed as an artistic expression of the creator. Yes you are entitled to you opinion and sure perhaps the album doesn't tickle your ear, but to say that "it is everything the punk scene is against" is proof in itself that your ideas are about as narrow minded as Hitler. I'm sure you are sitting there with your Mars Volta as a new coaster while you rock out to Pennywise, proclaiming them the "Kings of Punk", but then again you like Pennywise....a band that releases cd after cd that all sound the same.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Meh, these guys seem like they enjoyed the whole Avante-guard headline they got with ATDI and decided that they could really look groundbreaking if they ripped off early Pink Floyd records and added some updated sounds to the mix to not be overly obvious.

I'm not against this album, it's a decent album, middle of the road. But I feel about as bored listening to most of it as I do listening to my artsy friend talk about how his painting represents "the eternal struggle of the proletariats against the bourgeious who are oppressing him." Basically, if feel like I'm being subjected to having my ear filled with big words used to make little kids ooooh and ahhhh over the ideas. Just say it simply and intelligently. Pompous crap like this was what the punk scene was always against. Punk was never about looking overly smart, it was about relaying the message in creative, yet understandable terms. These guys are just stroking their ego through their music. Artistic masturbation has no place in meaningful music, let alone punk music.

That is all.

- Samuel

I-type-poorly (June 30, 2003)

prog, punk, art, rock, jazz. whatever the hell you wanna call it i don't care. It's fuckin quality music this album makes.
And any album that has a liner theme in songs is not a "concept album" thats just a thought out album. This album is one big story told through soundtrack. A litte different.
(i never heard of smores cereal, but after that review i am compelled to run out the door and get some.)

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

This score is for Smores Cereal, that stuff is godly.


- Scott
(Don't get the Ice Cream cereal)

FortyMinutesWest (June 30, 2003)

This score is for Smores Cereal, that stuff is godly.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

i decided not to talk anymore, and just take painkillers. So i did.

you know, punk may have been about just fun rock and roll. and that may have been also what punk rebelled against, so maybe punk is whatever you need it to be in an argument. Yup.

anyone think i could like this, which i do, as emotional rocking music and it be both emotional and fun? why do people trade fun for depth? Jawbreaker makes me weep like a baby, but it rocks, its 'fun'. it can be both.

things can be revolutionary without it inventing the wheel. it can be innovative 30 years after the last innovation of the same skin. Its fucking human, dudette. it doesn't mean i'm wanking off to it, i just dig it. its like fruit loops. in a month, maybe ill go 'Smores'. Which if you haven't tried, go to your nearest cereal aisle and pick up.

this records like fucking. its been done to death in every possible way, but its a refreshing intimate doggystyle after years of anonymous taxicab handjobs.

im having a craving for soymilk and beef, so im gonna get on that.
giggada giggada giggada
family wyzo

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Pitchfork's review is much better then this one. This CD is not that good, kids. It really isn't FUN.

Manman (June 30, 2003)

I like Volvos as much as the next guy, but a Volvo from Mars? That is a little far fetched. It is too bad that Rick Rubin's shining performance was shattered by his blind ambition and spandex jump suit(okay, he's not THAT weird). Mars Volta made a decent one. If you like the sound that is not so obnoxious but still makes those around you think that you are so cool, this is the stuff for you.

FortyMinutesWest (June 30, 2003)

So Assuck did break up, thanks, I was wondering.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

props to the guy down there using the term assuck. That, by the way, was a band. You kids should check them out!

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

All you kids getting so blown away and having these "this is the best album ever, so inventive, so amazing" revelations just shows how utterly pathetic the music scene has become. Recycling 60's and 70's psychedelic rock can suddenly be seen as innovative and amazing? I dug Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets too, so does that make me as cool as Cedric and Omar?

I dig this album, it's really good, well done, but it's not innovative, it's someone remaking the past to expose it to the close minded of today, which is a bit odd that it needs to be done since most kids today in punk are still so caught in the past that they dress in the classic chicken costumes of the past.

Also, this review was some of the most nut-rider gibberish I've ever read. This album is great for the little snots in the scene who want to show how cool they've become by liking the Mars Volta and then they can feel superior to their friends who think this band could never hold the reputation that ATDI built.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Wow, even I like this album. Crazy-ness.


Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

I think everyone is ripping off simple plan!!!!-oldpunker-

StratManX (June 30, 2003)

Yeah dude, The Misfits are so just ripping off AFI, I mean this is almost as bad as the time Black Flag ripped off Anti-Flag.

bluetunehead (June 30, 2003)

a couple hundred.

waste_elite (June 30, 2003)

"waste just thinks its "cool" but he has invested quite a bit listening time to it"


i spend anywhere from 1 to 2 hours in my car every day driving, i've got more than enough time to listen to music.

i still think it's a solid, interesting record, that's why i give it a 7. it's just not the second coming.

how many times must i repeat myself.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

one of the songs sounds like coheed and cambria, with the long twisted instr. and the vocs


Left_On_Red (June 30, 2003)

sometimes i drink dr.pepper but only when its available. Other than that i drink coke or ill drive on down to burger king and get a large dr. pepper but sometimes im to lazy and then i listen to vanilla ice naked with the lights dimmed and a picture of tlc on my wall

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

the mars volta on one corner and sparta on the other...i go with at the drive-in...it's where it all began...

bluetunehead (June 30, 2003)

im a dredg fan but this blows their recent album out of the water.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

i didn't think it was possible to be bored by this album with such diversity in sound. I can imagine with dredge and say newer radiohead the general mellowness could become more tedious....but this album is hardly mellow

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

What a surprise...A Dredg/Tool fan finds this boring...go back to your frat house

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

can we stop analyzing and trying to pigeonhole this album for 2 seconds? Who cares if it is punk or not or if it matches the likes of floyd or yes. If you like it or not, i think we can agree that it is at least respectable, it's not like simple plan or some shit. So let's let the people who enjoy it enjoy it and vice-versa.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

I just don't get this and frankly, I think it's over hyped.

I've heard a few songs and honestly, it just bores the hell out of me. Maybe it's because it carries that vibe of the 70's where it has to be "big", like the Yes' and the Rush's. And while making progressive, art-influenced rock/metal can be a good thing (Tool, Dredg for an example)it more often than not just bores the hell outta me.

I sometimes think bands just try to hard to make statements and try to hard to stand out to be differant. I think this is one of those bands. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I'm getting from these guys.

That's great that you want to branch out, be differant and have nice perfect production on your albums and try and be "big" musically. But for me? I for the most part, can't stand it. And while I do like to be challenged in music, I also don't want to be put to sleep.

If you like that type of thing, that's awesome. But for me, I'm going to listen to something else where I can actually be moved by the music.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

"The Misfits were totally ripping off AFI."

I might say that if AFI were around thirty years before the Misfits, like the relationship between Yes and the Mars Volta.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

I just really like this. Unfortunently people really seem to have a problem with people liking something in my opinion that is at least respectable. Don't like it, thats fine, but don't take it as a personal assault because other people do. Its not like were sitting here discussing the new Michelle Branch as being an amazing record. Chill out and go and listen to some music you DO like instead of bitching about music you don't.

funkisdead (June 29, 2003)

he said inspidered... that is the name of my new hardcore project

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

Hey Bullshit Detector, you clearly haven't listened to this album. Yes they are clearly inspidered by a lot of the groups you mentioned, but they still manage to sound completely unique as a whole. Whoever says the opposite is just plain dumb. Don't like it? Fine, but stop talking out of your ass.

FortyMinutesWest (June 29, 2003)

The Misfits were totally ripping off AFI.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

Prognews.com, I think should be the new name of this site. Everybody's so worried about bands with excellent musicianship and conveying a "deep message" (which most of the times means corny screaming) that they've lost track of the fact that punk was originally meant to be fun rock n roll. Now this crap is just a shitty Yes immititation, yet because only a select few of you have ever heard Yes, you won't know that and will keep on thinking "boy, oh boy, this is revolutionary!". It's not. It's boring. You kids mistake "boring" and "repetitive" with "revolutionary" and "excellent". If you want prog, go buy Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Genesis, the Nice, and Yes records. If you want punk go buy "Static Age" by the Misfits. By the way, Rush sucks because they suck and are bland crap, and Wire sucks 'cos they're just a cheap, shitty Eno rip.

-Bullshit Detector

FortyMinutesWest (June 29, 2003)

Hahah, that reminds me of this time my friend bought this "painting" for 20 bucks. It was just a bunch of paint splattered on a piece of paper. His defense: "well the artist was really happy that I bought it!" Well no shit.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

It's just music. There's no need to make some huge artistic statement over some guy who committed suicide. He may have been one of those "artists" that crap on a cardboard box and call it "a reflection on my emotions about the state of the country as we enter into a time of post-war and destruction".

StratManX (June 29, 2003)

I love this album but really now, If I were to just sit around and make 18 disjointed instrument parts and pieced them together in a "strategic" fashion I'm sure that there would still be a select number of people to call me a genius when really it's just an asshole with too much time on his hands. This album is good and all but it will not save the industry and it's not near as classic as say The Beatles' "White Album".

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

I was expecting a slap in the face, but I got a backhand.

It's good, but it's not the album to define a generation or anything like that, and quite frankly, a lot of "crap" has much more replay value.

adam (June 29, 2003)

To me, Rush is one of those bands that represents a moment in time pre-Ramones when prog and art-rock created a music scene where virtuoso performance and supposedly high-brow concepts made rock inaccessible and boring.


FortyMinutesWest (June 29, 2003)

Yeah, what's wrong with Rush?

But anyway, this is an awesome album, but I couldn't listen to it all the time.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

Really good but nothing i'd sit in the car and sing along with and shit.

sonicice (June 29, 2003)

I fail to see the problem with liking Rush :(

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

Dear all,

I love Britney Spears.


Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

"especially on a band's virgin full-length - comes off as pretentious"

Except we all know omar and cedric aren't virgin writers (god knows i fucked em), so it doesnt come off as two fresh sprout musicians being hailed as saviors (see the strokes).

As for not punk music, Most of the so called classic punk records out aren't the generic punk rock your used to. Gang of four, wire, mission of burma, MC5, X, so on and so on, and if you include even later decades, fugazi, even early bad religion save very basic emotional charge that could still be found in mainstream music never achieve this boring snotty bad distorted music that evidentally someones been flying a flag for. If you want to think that there is some wierd genre that is more honest than another, THAT is pretentious.

This record, Drumming alone, makes it rock. Did you hear the drum parts, did you air drum them? It never slows to an art record lull, either flea comes back in or the meshhugah robot guitar part comes in, or the drums kick everyones ass.

If you want to blame mainstream media, or play little rebel music outcast fine, but theres no x-files conspiracy here. And why would you bash this as elevator music, when your walking right into calling it 'televator' music? Yes, I would go there. I would use that pun. You had to have known the joke was there, did you not listen to the album to know that was a song title? Cmon, I stoop low for puns. Your just giving me that one.
wyz o

dignin (June 29, 2003)

i havent even heard the cd ten times all the way through and I think its the greatest thing since sliced bread. Kind of suspicias that waste just thinks its "cool" but he has invested quite a bit listening time to it.

waste_elite (June 29, 2003)

i'm not one to shout 'overrated' but my god, i must've listened to this record ten times since i've gotten it and i must say it's not nearly as great as you guys are making it out to be.

it sounds like at the drive in playing prog-rock. cool but not even close to breathtaking.

inagreendase (June 29, 2003)

hahahahaha great post adam

i'm honest to god 100% serious when i say that i think real geniuses include as many subtle-as-fuck details so analysis can forever be interpreted by a vast array of fans, so that slowly with each parallel structure correctly interpreted, the realization of their genius can only be increased as time progresses. it could be ten years from now when someone will realize or reason something and say "oh shit that's amazing". whether it's correct or not is one thing; if it was the band's intention then that's great. it's just mindgames that you play to further analyze it. symbolism is the only real tool for consistent representation. without symbolism we fail to have vague meaning that would otherwise stress a course of easily finding the answers. the hard questions are the ones that seek to be answered.
whoa i'm rambling thats enough for tonite

CaptainCrunch (June 29, 2003)

This album is outstanding. I like it more and more every time I listen to it. My two personal favorites of the year so far are MCS and this.

I like ATDI a lot but I wasn't expecting anything specific, the only thing I was expecting was that it was going to be a good album. High expectations with entertainment usually only lead to big disappointments. I just take each release for what its worth.

I don't get the people that are comparing this to Sparta. They are two totally different bands, both incredibly talented. A lot of people were praising Sparta last year when Wiretap scars came out, so why does this album change anything Sparta does? The fact of the matter is, that both albums are better than at least 90% of stuff to come out within the past year or so and its just a good time to be a music fan.

And if you don't understand this album, it doesn't mean you're a jackass, it just means you have a different musical taste as people that do like the album. Life goes on. There are a lot worse things in life than disliking a piece of recorded sound.

I can't wait to see these guys on July 22nd at St. Andrews, if anyone's going and wants to meet up, IM me or email me.

adam (June 29, 2003)

Or maybe... Cedic's hair represents the swirling vortex of human emotion, only tempered by the great spirit of apathy of which the music, in the fifth movement of the epilogue, is making a statement against. This brings about the spectre of vitriol that emerges from the depths of the emotive passages of the second song.

Ô?Žor maybe you guys over analyzing a record is too hilarious NOT to make fun of.


inagreendase (June 28, 2003)

maybe my injecting a gallon of production into the sound, tmv was trying to create a correlation between the effects of drugs on someone, how everything seems to be amplified, in terms of both vision and sound. of course, if tmv had really wanted to establish such a contrast, they would've only put that amount of production in the part of the album where Julio is in the middle of or after the coma, and then make the rest a little more raw to represent what Julio may have seen life as, as compared with other artists of his nature. however, omar and the like probably knew this guy better than me so they know what they're doing infinite times over myself

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

"Punk kids need not apply. You are all to close minded and more pretentious then all those you accuse of being pretentious."

ha! So, so true.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

Great album. It's not a punk record and those that like things with pop sensibility can listen to your punk rock songs, but if you want an album - not just a collection of songs - that challenges your understanding of music and of songs and of concepts then pick this up.

Punk kids need not apply. You are all to close minded and more pretentious then all those you accuse of being pretentious.

bluetunehead (June 28, 2003)

"You wanna talk about dishonesty in bands. Look at The Used and Thursday who just rape the "screaming to convey emotion" tactic backwards. I'd hate to bring up sparta again, but i mean come on. It's so painfully obvious that they rushed to form a band and churn out albums to capitalise on the ATDI sound that got so big. Thats anything but honesty."

I'd question putting The Used and Thursday in the same category. Sure, the Relationship of Command influences are obvious all over Thursday's Full Collapse, but it's still a damn fine record. "Autobiography of a Nation" is a legit political statement, not useless screaming. On the other hand, The Used essentially get John Feldman to auto-tune the shit out of the guy's voice, then layer screaming over oh-so angsty pop-punk songs.

as for mars volta.......it's a tiny bit too over the top for my taste, but it's one helluva trip. fact is that i don't have the musical knowledge to say "oh i really like how they minored that eighth note" and whatnot. whether this is as musically qualified as Pink Floyd or Yes or Radiohead or Sigur Ros or Godspeed! is beyond me, but I'm glad that something like this is being done. there are very few bands out there with a shot at getting in the public eye who are willing to do something this expansive. granted, in the public eye (at least the indie rock crowd), the mars volta simply could not lose. it's by no means a risky album despite all the hype saying so. sparta had more pressure than cedric and omar do. they were the two afro's of atdi who went nuts live. no matter what they come out with people will love it and proclaim it as amazing, or at least that it's better than whatever sparta comes up with. people can call this genius, amazing, profound, incredible, or a thousand other adjectives. i can't say whether musicially it is or isn't. i'd like to think my musical tastes and knowledge are at slightly above that of the casual mainstream listener, or at least im willing to look harder for something interesting, and from that perspective, this album is damn good. it's flawed. there are parts where i'd tell the guys to cool off. there is still a place for straight forward song structure now and then (witness sparta), but overall i'd definetely say this is an album that is worth remembering. is it a masterpiece? maybe not. i don't think its focused enough. but i probably will get some kids to start thinking outside of the box more with their garage bands.

and whoever down below said that he/she wasn't a fan of the production...i'd have to agree. it sounds like a million bucks went into recording this thing. i would have preferred a sound that was a little more raw.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

Why do you guys arguing here? No matter what you think about the albums, if you are honest and sincere, I think they should be respect.

You think the album is shit? Okay, fine, tell me some albums that you think aren't shit, then I will go to check them out. You think the album is very great? Fine, I am one of you but I hope everyone can respect others.Thanks.

I think you don't want to start a war like bush,right?

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

For the people that don't like this album, I can't say i'm entirely crazy about it either. But you guys got this thing under a microscope acting like you are fucking bob dylan or something. I'm guessing most of you either don't play anything or have a shitty local band, so quit trying to feel better about yourselves by trying to rip apart something you could never do.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

coming from el paso texas and seeing what these men did for the world with at the drive-in was amazing. but at the drive-in is no more and only TMV and Sparta are here. Two very different bands and two very different sounds. But still both bands are changing the face of music still. If not for them there would not have been a place for bands like thursday who toured with atdi. today there is TMV who just released something amazing, different in any genre one would want to categorize it as. give it time, let it sit in. i was just another closed minded person from el paso who didnt get at the drive in until it was almost over. come on flea and john fruciante got invoved with this one so they must have been doind something worth while.

dignin (June 28, 2003)

"Let's see if we remember here. Punk music started as a statement against all the disco/prog-rock/pop cheese music crap that was coming out." Most punk today isn't at all revoloutionary or making a statement. Alot of it is just untalented musicians that want attention. So in essence punk today is what disco was back then. And the guy who said the used and the blood brothers sound the same, in what way?

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

this review makes the cd sound 100 times better than it really is

it's just like 3-4 independent parts bound togheter and repeated after a while.

Daegan (June 28, 2003)

1) All albums are concept albums - or at least should be. There should be something to tie the songs together, to give them a relationship, and therefore the term "concept album" - especially on a band's virgin full-length - comes off as pretentious, self-important, and altogether annoying.

2) When I listen to this, I often find myself nodding and thinking, "Well, that was cool." But I am not moved. I am not feeling an urge to get up and do something or to drown myself forever. It lacks that inexplicable quality that lets some bands rock and other bands not. "The rock" is all it can be called, really - this band does not rock, plain and simple. Even the most mellow music involves you - this music, while well-constructed and interesting - makes you more of a spectator of emotion.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

continuing: and yeah, you all liked the used a year ago.

don't think i don't remember that.

this is pretentious as fuck, ┬┤just take a drunkship of lanterns, the intro is a desperate try to acheive the magic of atd-i.

and this is not a suprising cd at all, because you know that something else is comming every minute for the first 3 minutes and then all those parts are repeated again

/melvyl. fuck you.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

hahah whatever, you praising guys said the same about the blood brothers.


adam (June 28, 2003)

I'm going to stick my neck out and agree with the dissenting voices here

I can appreciate the Mars Volta's creative approach and ambition to make something different, but I can't get into this at all. I'm getting too much of a prog art-rock vibe from this, a form of music I find rather alienating and pretentious. If you like this, all the power to you, but it does nothing for me.


Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

Check it out for yourself:
http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y0 1Y5606658Y3293061/104-0080095-3954312


Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

As that one guy said...

This is like an updated version of Yes' Close to the Edge. You wanna hear where the Mars Volta took all their influence and song structure? Listen to that record.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

"that really bothers me. You wanna talk about dishonesty in bands. Look at The Used and Thursday who just rape the "screaming to convey emotion" tactic backwards. I'd hate to bring up sparta again, but i mean come on. It's so painfully obvious that they rushed to form a band and churn out albums to capitalise on the ATDI sound that got so big. Thats anything but honesty.

What is TMV lying about? They created a concept narrative album. Something that makes you imagine while listening to then just going "oh yeah, that was a good song, next". They aren't trying to fool their auidence at all because they aren't trying to find an audience. None of these songs you can go "oh wow, i feel this way too. this band really understands me" like so many dishonest bands do to to make fans. Because this album isn't about you. So the only way this band could be dishonest is if they just made up this Julio guy who was a very close friend. And that is a very insulting thing to say."

I don't listen to The Used or Thursday so that statement in and of itself is void. Music is for expression of emotion, you are supposed to relate. Blue Train by John Coltrane was brutaly honest, this is "hey lets make a concept record". It annoys me at best, The Shape of Punk to Come was something groundbreaking and new while still being honest about what was to come. It was insulting of me to say? Good, I'm glad I said it then.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

I'm not close minded. I'll listen to anything. This is just overhyped. It may be good music or whatever, but it's not the greatest thing ever recorded. Some bands, it seems, anything they do is considered awesome. These guys could take a crap on a cd, press it in, ship it, and people would buy it, because Mars Volta is "soo much better than Sparta" and "they were in At the Drive In." Who cares.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

who gives a fuck if its not punk? dont be so fucking close minded. this record is very, very, very good. by the way this is slippy, i dont feel like searching for my password.

Yellowtrash (June 28, 2003)

Punk is a catch-22. This album on the otherhand, isn't.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

Mars Volta isn't punk, it's music

MrOhio (June 28, 2003)

I'm glad to see people finally disagreeing with the reviewer here. He did a great review, but the album...? Eh. All of us punks here wouldn't go home and flip on a Rush record, would we? Nope. At least I hope not. But we can go home and flip on the Mars Volta's new "masterpiece/album of the year". That seems to be okay. Complex melodies, flowing guitars, techincally-enchanced voices, hmm....real punk music. Finally! Let's see if we remember here. Punk music started as a statement against all the disco/prog-rock/pop cheese music crap that was coming out. It was fast, loud, annoying, distorted, offensive, and crude. In other words, a kick to the balls of music and society. Even if, musically, those original bands weren't Mars Volta-god level status, they accomplished all of the above. The Sex Pistols got people mad just when their name was spoken. I dare say this album isn't punk. This should be filed next to the Queen, Rush, Led Zepplin in the store. And it's definately not the album of the year. A far cry. The year's only half over. There are a lot more CDs still to be released. A new Rancid, a new Social Distortion (we can hope)....I don't know. I guess I'm one of the those people who "just don't get the Mars Volta."

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

I really can't believe how overhyped this record has become. Surely, there are little Universal gnomes prowling the internet making people say stupid stuff like this:

"Wow! I downloaded this album a couple weeks ago just out of curiosity, but I didn't really get anything from it, but since I've seen this, I'm now gonna go back and relisten to the album to see if it can rub off on me this time....I guess I never actually sat down and listened to the whole thing."

... Ah hah! The hype machine works. It says, if you don't like it on first listen, there must be something wrong with you because EVERYONE likes it! Whatever you do, don't be different! Don't have your own opinions! Personally, the song I downloaded was long, boring, annoying, and dare I say (as others have done), pretentious. Whatever.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

I hate when people try to explain shit with a useless analogy. Yankees are a far cry from music and you can't apply the same logic.

FortyMinutesWest (June 28, 2003)

To the guy a few comments down: Assuck broke up.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

"It's never a positive experience because if you win, it's expected and if you lose it's even worse because it doesn't happen that often.."

Man, I could never let other peoples views or opinions sway my taste of music. Who cares if someone expected you to like it or not. I really feel sorry for someone that can't just listen to music. Someone that has to keep tabs on everyone else in order to make a decision about their tastes. What a tedious and frustrating life.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

Who cares?

RyanTMurphy (June 28, 2003)

As a rule, I avoid everything that is subject to this kind of hyperbole. Whether it's good or not is immaterial, when people treat something like it's supposed to be this important I refuse to give it a chance because nothing positive can come out of it. To use an analogy, putting that much hype behind an album or band is like being a Yankees fan. It's never a positive experience because if you win, it's expected and if you lose it's even worse because it doesn't happen that often. Albums that get treated like the second coming of Christ are the same way: if you like it, it makes no difference because you're expected to like it, the hype would dictate that most people would like it. If you don't like it, it's even worse because now the people who put the hype behind it will treat you like a pariah. So I just steer clear of anything that gets the kind of hyperbole that this review had. Oh, and I really fucking hate that attitude of "you like it or you don't understand it". Nothing on this planet is incapable of reasonably not liking.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

seriously, this is terrible.

most stuff are just pathetic attemps at creating the magic atd-i had.

don't call me a "fat wreck fanboy" just because i don't like this shit, i really anticipated this cd, but i find it assucking and absolutley terrible.

this shouldn't be a cd, it should be like elevator music.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

The album grew on me a bit since I first heard it, but I just don't see it as the epic everyones hailing it as. The EP was great, and I had big hopes for this album, but the album actually kind of disappointed me. Everyone keeps mentioning the albums alleged variety of influences/styles...but all the songs more or less do the same thing. They have the part of the song where their just very loud with the heavy heavy guitars, and then it lowers down to the erie-guitar noodling part, nothing really GROUNDBREAKING or even anything these very people haven't done before. The musicianship is probably as good as can be heard right now i'll admit, but you know, Steve Vai was a great musician to and i don't own any of his albums...I look forward to better releases from this band.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

i'd like to say that this is the least pretentious album I've heard in awhile. The emotion is there, the flow of the record is tight, the ideas or impressions the songs are trying to convey are there, and I despite what people are saying, I honestly think this is more straightforward rock than Sparta. Long instrumental parts aside, this album just beats you over, it doesnt drag like a pretentious prog-rock record would.

This is as honest as it gets. Quality doesn't compromise honesty, sometimes it exemplifies it. The first time I heard the last 30 seconds of veil cerpintax, It got to me. This is a brilliant and very human record.

Rise against and all that are great records, in a pure entertainment no frills way, but this is a record that surpasses whatever year its put out in, whatever genre.

Against me! is going to be a great record, but this isn't a communal record. this is a record about death dying and suicide, ALONE. The pretentious magazine reviews are right for once.
wyzo is pretentious so fuck me

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

haha, i find it so funny how many people are already calling this the best cd of '03. I remember when everyone was saying that for the new Rise Against. Besides, there are many other albums that are going to rock this year (Against Me!). But anyways this was a good review. I have not heard this yet, but i am going to buy it as soon as possible. This score is for the review.

dignin (June 28, 2003)


waste_elite (June 28, 2003)

haven't you guys ever listened to a prog-rock record before?

dignin (June 28, 2003)

its ridiculus how much good music is coming out this year, and this probably tops all the others.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

ohhhh man, i have nothing new to say... i honestly can't imagine a better album coming out this year. stuff this great comes out once every decade if we are lucky.

Sevenluk (June 28, 2003)

I come from Hong Kong, but Mars Volta music can still fly to Hong Kong, reach my ears and give my head a big big impression, I do love them. The album is so amazing, I must buy the album although I just listen to the full album with mp3s only. I believe it is one of the most important album on the earth and best of 2003.

Rest In Peace Jeremy Ward.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

"Fuck Not Lest Ye Be Fucked"

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

Wow you guys need to get off the dick of tmv. Yes this is a great release, but two better releases this year we're:

1. Cursive - The Ugly Organ
2. Hot Cross - Cryonics

if you have not heard the latter I suggest you do ASAP, this band is just amazing.

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

really really fucking good review... i heard the first 4 tracks and couldn't stand it any more, it was too fucked up but i think im gonna try giving it another listen...


Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I won't bother raving about how amazing The Mars Volta is, because that has already been thoroughly taken care of. Instead, I'd like to comment on how fantastic of a review this is. I would not begin to attempt to review this monstrosity of an album. Extremely massive props for the reviewer. Very, very nicely done.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I agree to a point with the person that this seems awfully pretentious. Talent and ability aside, it seems very much like they're making art for art's sake, which, unless your talking in Warholian consumer art terms, sort of defeats the purpose of art.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

This is probably the most fitting review I have ever seen for an album. Excellent work. Better than most professional music critics.

I-type-poorly (June 27, 2003)

"I prefer music that sounds honest"
that really bothers me. You wanna talk about dishonesty in bands. Look at The Used and Thursday who just rape the "screaming to convey emotion" tactic backwards. I'd hate to bring up sparta again, but i mean come on. It's so painfully obvious that they rushed to form a band and churn out albums to capitalise on the ATDI sound that got so big. Thats anything but honesty.

What is TMV lying about? They created a concept narrative album. Something that makes you imagine while listening to then just going "oh yeah, that was a good song, next". They aren't trying to fool their auidence at all because they aren't trying to find an audience. None of these songs you can go "oh wow, i feel this way too. this band really understands me" like so many dishonest bands do to to make fans. Because this album isn't about you. So the only way this band could be dishonest is if they just made up this Julio guy who was a very close friend. And that is a very insulting thing to say.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

"Know your facts please ... ... Think before you post."

Relax bud. I'm sorry I'm not an expert on the band. I just said it seemed like they got a lot of help and was therefore skeptical of the live performance, because the recording is so impressive. Think before I post??? Think about what? I don't know if you can tell by the tone of the post, but I wasn't very positive about anything besides being upset that they weren't coming to play in a city near me. I was more than willing to be educated, and, lucky me, someone so nice was more than willing to oblige. At least there were a couple reasonable responses that didn't resort to pretentious rants and insults.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

"The only thing I have against the Mars Volta is that it seems like Omar and Cedric brought in a lot of help to do the album. I'd like to see them live and see how they are without Flea and the help on guitar (I forget who this is)."

Know your facts please. The new bassplayer can play everything Flea plays and the album and they didn't have any "help on guitar". John Frusciante played a tiny part on Cicatriz ESP where he kinda jams with Omar in the middle. Besides those two minutes or so, every guitar sound you hear is made and played by Omar. Think before you post.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Wow, this album is getting overhyped. Best album of 2003? I hope not. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing...but this 'perfect record' shit is out of hand.

StratManX (June 27, 2003)

As I listen for the first time, all I can say is Wow. "Throw me to the spiders..."

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I've seen the Mars Volta live (opening for Queens Of The Stone Age and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and they were easily the best band of the night. Omar's guitar moved like a jackhammer and Cedric had great stage presence -- he bit the crash cymbal and let go mere milliseconds before the drummer hit it... the organ player, bassist and drummer were all great too.... trust me after you read a full live review of the Mars Volta you'll be driving hours to see them play.

Killer album too, best of 2003... probably best that I have heard ever so far.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I'll be racing to the store on Monday when this comes out in Australia


sweetsugarpezz (June 27, 2003)

best album of 2003. easy.


Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I guess I just don't "get" Mars Volta. They seem pretentious and annoying to me at best. I prefer music that sounds honest.

Icapped2pac (June 27, 2003)

BEST REVIEW EVER. Havent heard the album yet, because like felon scott, I'm a little apprehensive after everybody saying how great it is. I got burned by buying the new Brand New strictly based on the review, and that piece of boring crap is going straight to the used CD rack. Maybe one of my stoner friends has this already....-

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

This is the only record I know who've I made many copies of months before it was out, myself included, and we all still bought it.

The version of 'televators' without the bongos or percussion is better than the album one, so it all works out.

Perfect record. Absolutely.


Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

holy motherfucking shit. i can't see any album coming out this year beating this. i read this review this morning, and promptly went out and bought the cd. fucking incredible.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

The only thing I have against the Mars Volta is that it seems like Omar and Cedric brought in a lot of help to do the album. I'd like to see them live and see how they are without Flea and the help on guitar (I forget who this is). Unfortunately they arent coming to Minneapolis so I'll just have to go off reports from other people.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Anyone see them live? I can't imagine it having the same effect live.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Really good review. Good cd. Gotta get it.

burtless (June 27, 2003)

at the drive in set the bar for bands at the end of their run in 2001, and the mars volta just took a crap on that bar and then promptly through it about 20 miles in the sky. Not only is this album in any genre of music around today, or ever been around, but its amazing. god help them when they make their sophmore release.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

ooops, or is "Iesha" actually really titled "at the playground"?

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

'bel biv devoe rule! How can you not love a goup that used there fame to get another bad creation a record deal. Where would we be with out "at the playground" or "spiderman"? Do we really want to think about where we might be? I for one think not.'

hahaha...don't forget the song "Iesha". ABC fo' Life!

burtless (June 27, 2003)

mars volta makes at the drive in look like sparta

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Oops.. that's the vinyl in September. You're right, booklet in July.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Cool that you liked the site.

And the lyrics booklet wont be released until September.

I-type-poorly (June 27, 2003)

I've been to The Comatorium site a few times. i really like it.
Also, i don't think the first words are "Now I'm lost" i think it's "Now i'm loused." But i guess we won't be sure until GSL releases the De-Loused lyrics and note-book next month...

StratManX (June 27, 2003)

Incredible review, perhaps the best on this site. I'm going to buy this album in a few minutes.

waste_elite (June 27, 2003)

"yeah well you're a faggot this album rules"



Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

yeah well you're a faggot this album rules

waste_elite (June 27, 2003)

i liked it but i didn't think it was nearly as good as you guys are making it out to be.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Wow! I downloaded this album a couple weeks ago just out of curiosity, but I didn't really get anything from it, but since I've seen this, I'm now gonna go back and relisten to the album to see if it can rub off on me this time....I guess I never actually sat down and listened to the whole thing.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Best album in years. Tops ATDI and Sparta easily. For those interested check out this TMV site run by me and another guy:


Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

this album is dense and brilliant. buy it. listen. learn.

I-type-poorly (June 27, 2003)

My mind is set for album of the year already. I'll eeven tally this down for best title, best album cover, and best album about comatosic hallucinations.
As James Lipton would say "Scrumtrilesint!"

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

holy fucking shit

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

ya, this album is really that good. I hear a lot of Santana in it but Santana would never do anything this ambitious. I can't find any real major flaws, except that Ive never been a fan of atdi/mars volta lyrics. It just seems like he comes up with random words. Either way this is ground breaking and amazing.

The review was well written and accurate, but just a little long winded. I got through about half of it and then just stopped. BUt I guess its better to me super informative than vague.

ramo (June 27, 2003)

this is truly a sonic masterpiece/musical journey. omar and cedric have done it again. even the interludes are so fucking better than most songs out there. flea's basslines were pretty good too. so far my fav album of the year and my fav release from omar and cedric besides "in/casino/out".

KirbyPuckett (June 27, 2003)

"if you are kirby pucket you should be able to grow an afro.

I'm a white Kirby Puckett.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Contrary to what idiots are saying you CAN like both Sparta and Mars Volta. To the dumb-ass who thinks sparta should kill themselves, get over it. Couch-potato critic shit. Baaah!

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Sucks that you can't get to a Best Buy. Got it there on Tuesday for 6.99.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

i got mine at cd plus.com for 9.99.

tenderbransonx (June 27, 2003)

The score is for the review. Man thats some crazy good scirpting you've done there. As for Mars Volta, I never did really get into ATDI until the end, but I did like the sparta release. I've been hesitent to pick this up becuase so many people are telling me how 'great' it is and I worry about it being over-hyped. After this review though I think I will check it out.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)


Where can I get this album for the cheapest? Please include both American and Canadian chain stores. Thanks! (Preferably do not only mention Best Buy, as there is none in my reach.)

If you love music, I am sure you can help me out!

FortyMinutesWest (June 27, 2003)

Sparta got by on the "Hey we're that ex ATDI band!" schtick for a while, but now theyre going to have to top this. Not gonna happen.

flocktothebeat (June 27, 2003)

if i was in sparta i would be sitting back counting my fat cash watching sifl and olly on my widescreen tv. or maybe not dying of an overdose of dope. my score is for smack.

chad (June 27, 2003)

this is possibly already my favorite album ever, that was a very very good review.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

If i was in Sparta, I'd now kill myself. Either that, or beg Cedric and Omar to let me into The Mars Volta.

flocktothebeat (June 27, 2003)

if you are kirby pucket you should be able to grow an afro.

KirbyPuckett (June 27, 2003)

"they get a one for having dumb fucking afro puff hair..."

If I could grow and afro, I would too.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

bel biv devoe rule! How can you not love a goup that used there fame to get another bad creation a record deal. Where would we be with out "at the playground" or "spiderman"? Do we really want to think about where we might be? I for one think not.

FortyMinutesWest (June 27, 2003)

Holy shit, Bel Biv Devoe reference. This score is for that.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

they gave bel biv devoe 2 stars and look at all the fame and riches that have been bestoed upon them ,rolling stone is a fool of a magazine.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

how silly not to give the ashanti record a good review right...........right?

FortyMinutesWest (June 27, 2003)

So much better than Sparta.

slippy (June 27, 2003)

after the tremulant ep came out, i didnt think much of the mars volta, and i thought sparta was better....but holy shit, this record...i can't stop thinking about it, the songs are permentently stuck in my head, the mars volta are way better than sparta, probably better than at the drive in, god i could go on forever...

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

great review, great album...and rolling stone gave this a 3? just remember, this is the same magazine that didn't like ashanti's album when it came out, but after she hit big, they named her one of their artists of the year...

okmike (June 27, 2003)

Great review; amazing record. Defintely give this one some dedicated headphone time. I happened to be at London Heathrow the day it was released and picked it up - UK version w/ bonus track. God bless duty free.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

they get a one for having dumb fucking afro puff hair and for overdosing on smack, i have no respect for art fags that cant handle there god damn dope.

sk8punx4evr (June 27, 2003)

i got this yesterday and i hate to go along with the hype but it is really that good. the fast "voodoo" drums really work. and by "really work," i mean "sound goddamn good."

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

good review--it was like a history lesson, a eulogy, a record review, and I could practically imagine you busting in your pants as you listen to the album.

The band sounds like a mix between ATDI and a band from outer space. So if you are a fan of ATDI or of outer space than you should check this out. Also for fans of Manu Chao, Beyonce Nowles, ACDC, John Tesh, NWA, The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, The Smiths, C&C Music Factory, No Limit Soldiers.....

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Yes, it is far better than relationship of command. This record is unbelievable.

hungryjoe (June 27, 2003)

is it better then Relationship of Command? it just may be. time will tell if it's as influential though. this is the best thing i've heard all year.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

This is a classic!

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Oh and the artwork might seem Pink Floydish...because they got the same artist who worked on all the Pink Floyd albums to do their cover.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I agree with the review. I was suprised to see how many different influences could be brought in. I agree with the Pink Floyd and Santana references quite a bit.

My best description of this CD is that it visits many places on the map, but doesn't linger long enough to make you notice where you are or if you have been there before.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

This review is dead on, I had been listening to the demo version of this album for quite some time and then rushed to my indie music store at 10 am on the 24th to buy it. I totally agree with the fact that these songs don't get old, I can listen to this over and over and over, and be just as entranced every time. This is incredible music.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Ya there are different covers. As far as I have seen there are only 2 different ones.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

the cover is just reversable, i thought i was getting some rare version too when i got the head in water. and this is one of those albums that i think actually lives up to it's hype

KirbyPuckett (June 27, 2003)

"The clueless dipshits over at rollingstone gave this a 3."

They also called it "just a punk record." But then again, that's why it's just Rolling Stone, nothing important or credible for a record like this.

Oh, the artwork, which I think is very Pink Floydish...My cover art has the head poking out the water and the inside of the booklet is that pictured above. Are there different versions or is Scott just messing with us?

- Scott
(Defacto, what!)

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

Musicianship? Right on. Vocals? Incredible. Range and reach? Thumbs up. So what's the beef? The fact this album is nothing that new, nothing that groundbreaking. Lots of people have been likening it to 'The Wall'. Fair enough. But I'll tell ya: The only record 'De-Loused' really reminds me of is Yes' 'Close to the Edge': big, bombastic, egotistical, all over the musical map.

I respect these guys for what they've attempted, but this is a record severely snowballed in from single to a homerun by the proverbial hype machine. Good? Yes. Great? Maybe. Astonishing, the best thing since 'OK Computer (as many have said)? Not even.

Oh yeah: Rick Rubin might be the most rank and file, straight down the middle producer ever. Everything he does sounds like the rest. Pristine, crystal sound? Yeah--but that doesn't cut it for me. One of the largest flaws, for me, is the pop production on prog rock this record experiences. Blah. I need some grit

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

whoa... gonna get this..
Great review, at least untill I hear it.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

The clueless dipshits over at rollingstone gave this a 3.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I've had this album for a while now, and I still listen to it rather regularly. Most discs that I listen to this much for this long will begin to lose a bit of excitement, but this one doesn't. This one has sooo much to offer that I'll probably be sticking it in 4 years from now thinking to myself "holy shit, this is good."

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

I just bought this cd but it's defective and the last 2 songs don't work so I have to go return it and get a new copy today.

I was very impressed with the first 8 tracks, it's amazing so far.

KirbyPuckett (June 27, 2003)

Do me a favor kids, for all of you that just sit on your computer and download music, go out and buy this one for a chance. It's cheap and def. one of the best records of the year, if not the most important.

- Scott
(Sparta, who?)

maverick (June 27, 2003)

As much as I hate to admit it, this overly-positive review is more or less right on the mark. I can't justify giving this album 5 stars just because of it's newness [5 star albums tend to have to be around a little while for me to acknowledge them], but what is on this disc is absolutely astonishing.

If you are a lover of music, you will buy this.


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