The Mars Volta - Live (Cover Artwork)

The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta: LiveLive (2003)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4

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

The Mars Volta, while hated by many, cannot be denied the talent they displayed on 2003's De-loused In The Comatorium. Taking a page from Weezer's book, the band has issued a 4-song, limited edition live EP that is being distributed only in certain independent record store chains [a list of which i.

The Mars Volta, while hated by many, cannot be denied the talent they displayed on 2003's De-loused In The Comatorium. Taking a page from Weezer's book, the band has issued a 4-song, limited edition live EP that is being distributed only in certain independent record store chains [a list of which is viewable here, if you scroll down a bit]. The first two songs on the EP, "Roulette Dates (the haunt of)" and fan favorite "Drunkship of Lanterns" are live studio recordings of the band in London. The final two cuts, "Cicatraz ESP" and "Televators," are taken from a concert in July of 2003, also in London.

Haters aside, the biggest question I had after hearing some of the more complex tracks on their debut is "how on earth do they pull it off live?" With this EP, I realize that they can't. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

These songs were almost on sensory overload on recording, and frankly, it's sort of nice to hear them stripped down a bit to see how the band would make up for all the studio magic. First off, Cedric's voice is stronger than ever - if you thought there was some sort of auto-tuning going on with their full length, you'd be sorely mistaken. Bixler Zavala, for lack of a better term, wails on these four tracks, spanning over 40 minutes total in length. His improvisational lyrics and melodies fit in perfectly with each song's extended jam sessions.

Omar's guitar work on these live tracks sounds more and more like Carlos Santana with each passing minute. The man has developed a strangely unique style; a sort of latin-emocore fusion that has never really been seen before. His licks are supplimented by whomever is manning the organ on these recordings, adding a much funkier vibe than the band had on De-loused.

Many people have voiced complaints about the Mars Volta's live show - that they jam for too long, they ignore their audience, et al. From these recordings, I can totally understand; the band sounds totally self-involved, ignoring the audience completely. The studio tracks, presumably with no audience whatsoever, are just as strong and experimental as the ones taken from an actual concert. This band doesn't seem to care who is listening; they are making this music solely for themselves. I, for one, don't mind eavesdropping.

Worth tracking down, definitely.


People who liked this also liked:
Weezer - PinkertonFoo Fighters - Wasting LightRx Bandits - ...And the Battle BegunThe Mars Volta - De-Loused In The ComatoriumThe Mars Volta - Frances The MuteWalter Schreifels - An Open Letter to the SceneAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandThe Blood Brothers - Burn Piano Island, BurnThe Mars Volta - Scab DatesRx Bandits - The Resignation

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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.
Anonymous (May 30, 2005)

Man, The Mras Volta is just the best. Freaking crazy ass bony Omar is just crazy at the guitar. And Cedric hits some really high high notes. Dude they're just the best band of all time kinda like Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin shit man.

Anonymous (March 7, 2005)

Volta's badass, but ISIS is the shit!! I've seen them twice, one of the most amazing bands I've ever seen. I couldn't move.Totally in shock. Aaron Turner is a genius. Later fuckers.

Anonymous (August 25, 2004)

I dont think the long jams are a bad thing.
in fact they kick ass.
but the live show in NYC was too short (45 minutes).
plus the crowd got repremanded by Cedirc for being a high energy NYC crowd. what did he want us to do, stand still dropped jawed and hypnotized?

Anonymous (January 19, 2004)

i am smarter than all of you.

FortyMinutesWest (January 16, 2004)

That Pelican EP is excellent, I reviewed it a while back.

Anonymous (January 15, 2004)

somebody needs to review isis. has anybody heard the pelican ep? that is pretty fucking good.

FortyMinutesWest (January 14, 2004)

Isis is one of my favorite bands of all time. Great band.

Anonymous (January 14, 2004)

Mars is the red planet!

Anonymous (January 14, 2004)

i hate them

JonLCFmag (January 14, 2004)

so I never got a chance to hear their full length, and i waasn't looking forward to this or anyhting, but I LOVE this e.p. the problem is that people just dont' have the attention span for jams at a live show. too bad, but from a guy whos faortie band is ISIS this it the shit.

backupdork (January 13, 2004)


backupdork (January 13, 2004)

oh yeah. i think my dad has a king crimpson record in the basement. never listened to it, but it sure does have some cool artwork.

backupdork (January 13, 2004)

"oh yeah, i forgot to point out that the word 'amazing' is banned from punk rock and/or hardcore from here on out."

the score is for that comment.

Anonymous (January 13, 2004)

Excuse me? Who's the Boss? Tony mother fucking Danza

dignin (January 13, 2004)

thats where you are wrong, everyone knows Charles is in Charge.

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

To the assclown below,

Shut your dickhole you mother fucking mother fucker.

Uncle Jesse invented The Mars Volta, everyone knows that!

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

Who cares who invented this style? King Crimson was influenced by people before their time and so on. Just like in 20 years, bands may be influenced by the Mars Volta, who were influenced by King Crimson and so on..... No one says that you can't like modern punk bands because they were influenced by the clash, ramones, sex pistols, and dead kennodys. It's all music.

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

scores for how much of a homo i am.

-el vaquero

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

Is anyone going to review any of the last Small Brown Bike shows?

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

oooh hey im rob, and im such a mex... my space bar doesnt evenwork cuz im so mexican that i waste all my money on mexican booze and welfare checks, aka post stamps

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)


Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

a friend of mine described this band as "sounding like Santana. . . psychodelic and mexican"

personally i've never heard them. but am intrigued.

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

TMV may be good, but they wouldn't convert on 4th & 26.

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

These Fuck chops think they're YES!

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

I agree with what Scott said, but I wouldn't even bother myself. It's not worth the effort. It's understandable though, sometimes people like 'Tater just get you really irritated and make you ventilate your irritation.

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

King Diamond is better

dignin (January 10, 2004)

I think we should all give Scott a hand for tearing down Tate on his own website.

FortyMinutesWest (January 10, 2004)

King Crimson is fucking genius, Greg Graffin likes them and so should you.

notaclevername (January 10, 2004)

comparing mahvishnu to the mars volta is really apt (i never thought about that), kudos

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

mahavishnu orchestra=the kickass band.

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

"King Crimson that has been doing this style of music for almost 30 years.... check out their first few records if you wanna see who invented this style."

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

I was reading Jason Tate's "end of year wrap-up" on ap.net and he actually wrote that the Mars Volta is underrated. Is there a bigger ass clown going round??

If you want a good laugh read his list, then the accompanying comment by Scott. Hilarious!

My score is for Scott's comment, and btw, can't wait to see The Mars Volta live in Melbourne


Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

ok. i like this band a lot. deloused is a great cd. BUT I think people are giving them too much credit for making a "totally new sound that has never been done before". It's no different than if someone tried to tell me that Rancid was the first punk band to mix punk with reggae. There is a band (and i'm not trying to sound all hipster here) called King Crimson that has been doing this style of music for almost 30 years. the mars volta is shockingly similar to king crimson in the way they structure their songs and have weird interludes and stuff. check out their first few records if you wanna see who invented this style.

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

That's from "Punk"RockVids.com by the way, which is made up of 92% big label "wanna-be-punk" emo videos.

TMV is NOT Prog Rock, everyone who listens to Jazz Fusion knows that. It's always fucking scene kids making fun of Progressive Rock N' Roll. Grow up!

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)



Drunkship of Lanterns (live from the Electric Ballroom in London July 2003)


Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

you dont get it because you have you dogs dick stuck in your ears

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

mars volta = amazing

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

oh yeah, i forgot to point out that the word "amazing" is banned from punk rock and/or hardcore from here on out. i know it makes you sound all artistic and musical but it's been used way too much...

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

i do not get this band. they have some good songs, but geez, why does everyone have such a hard on for these guys? the mars volta are what all the stuck up musical elitists are listening to after they scoff at everyone else with lesser taste...

PetroBPettson (January 9, 2004)

Jessie Automatic, currently of The Epoxies, said I look like DuPlenty! I blushed. I've heard Iggy and Stiv and even Bowie at my glammiest....but to be compared to the lead Screamer.......and by someone in one of my favorite current bands......

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

Screamers= eat this band out and leave it crying. DuPlenty was a genius.

And the Boys had a keyboard.


Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

Kick Ass band, saw them live last October in Chicago, they kicked ass, and did do things with their fans, so fuck off haters

PetroBPettson (January 9, 2004)

They do little for me.....Though I'm a big fag for keyboards. I guess only when the Spits, cripples, epoxies, screamers, piranhas, ect.... are behind 'em. The album cover's pretty nifty though.

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

"dope band, great review, awesome cd. fuck all the haters. go listen to new found glory you fags."

great contribution...i'm sure the mars volta are glad to have fans like yourself

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

dope band, great review, awesome cd. fuck all the haters. go listen to new found glory you fags.

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

Idiot....the purpose isnt supposed to be a complete recreation of the studio cd when u perform live....squeeze me macaroni

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

if you dont love the mars volta you suck.

i need to pick up this album,

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

Television was enough for me as far as prog-punk goes.


Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

I thought there were more than 2 people in this band. WOW, no wonder everyone calls them talented.

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)


Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

you can also order the cd from this store

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

the mars volta-music to listen to when you're constipated or a arrogant indie hipster. in either case, you just want it to go away.

ElVaquero (January 9, 2004)

Mr. Bungle > Rage Against The Machine.


Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

I enjoyed this EP a lot. Since I have yet to see the mars volta this will have to tide me over till the next time they come around.


sfbarker (January 9, 2004)

They're just lazy. Mr. Bungle was able to recreate all their sounds like, of course it led to Trey Sprunance playing lead guitar and a keyboard at the same time, but still, they made it work. The Mars Volta kids aren't talented enough to make all these sounds and songs work without studio musician help. I'm not discrediting their ability to come up with pseudo-intellectual emo-prog ideas, but they aren't really able to communicate it that well.

Also, Omar stands about as much chance of being a guitar hero and innovator (i.e. - Tom Morello) as a kid with Down's Syndrome does in a Trivial Pursuit tournament.

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

>>Exclusively sold at all:
CIMS, A.I.M.S, Music Monitor Network and Newbury Comics stores

Jesse (January 9, 2004)

You said it exactly. Although, I was quite suprised when I saw them live for how well they made their stuff sound. They only thing lacking in the live shows was multiple guitar tracks and certain spacey sound effects. Omar = hottest guitar player in music right now. For being as talented as a guitar player he is, he also writes all the music for the band, and experiments with chords, dissonance, and synchopation. He adds a new level to guitar soloing that is generally lacking in mainstream rock. Tom Morello can suck Omar's balls. Word.

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