The Mars Volta

Strummer / Universal
Reviewed by: Jayson Greene
Reviewed on: 2006-09-19

Posted 09/19/2006 - 12:12:51 PM by stevegoz:
 And yet all three of their studio albums have received pretty positive reviews, at least when the Metacritic view is taken. So where the haters?;=all&ts;=mars+volta&ty;=2&x;=0&y;=0
Posted 09/19/2006 - 05:17:13 PM by cwperry:
 Zappa and Primus are perhaps "deliberately unlikeable"? I don't understand.
Posted 09/22/2006 - 05:47:21 AM by florenz6:
 Really an overrated band! Like Mastodon, it is all a bit too much of testosterone!
Posted 09/22/2006 - 12:43:48 PM by potsos:
 There are two types of Mars Volta album reviews. One has obviously listened to the album, giving pertinent information about the entire piece as a whole, for better or for worse. The other masturbates with an online thesaurus -- invoking curiously erroneous comparisons while waxing about "masturbatory wankery" -- like so many witless mouth-breathers before him. I'll believe Jayson Greene knows a 15/8 time signature from his own ass when he bothers to correctly spell the lyrics from an album he's "reviewing". If you want to hear more Jayson's speed, check out the new Paris Hilton album, to which he assigns a higher score than Amputechture. You can be assured, at least, he won't incorrectly wield a monster like "monochromatic" in THAT review. Frightful.
Posted 09/26/2006 - 10:22:44 AM by johnedowney:
 Ah, fanboys. Look, I don't care if a guy misspells the lyrics in an album that he is reviewing, as long as he gets the spirit of the statement (and its power) across. Potsos, you should know that Jayson Greene wasn't the first guy to use the phrase "masturbatory wankery". I'm pretty sure that it was a phrase that somebody used (Pitchfork?) that everyone happened to agree with. I don't know what a 15/8 time signature is, but I sure do know that pretty much every guitar solo here sucks. On top of that, I was able to correctly identify whenever a solo would begin 90% of the time. Also, potsos, Jayson clearly listened to the album, or else he wouldn't be able to point out the time changes and, uh, stuff. potsos's response seems to be because he doesn't agree with the review, despite implying that that's not the case. He mentions in his criticism that Jayson gave Paris Hilton's album a better score than he gave "Amputechture". Well, potsos, maybe that means that Paris Hilton's album IS better than "Amputechture". I mean, I haven't listen to that claptrap, either, but at least it doesn't assault you with a couple of 10+ minute songs that go either nowhere ("Tetragrammaton") or go to places that I never want to go again ("Day Of The Baphomets" is the worst song that I have ever heard in my 20 years on this planet). Played this album for my brother, by the way. He loves "Frances The Mute", and doesn't think that TMV should be held to the same critical standards of other bands. He hated "Amputechture". Like, his jaw was on the ground. The farthest he got in any song was 90 seconds of "Viscera Eyes", before skipping to the next song, muttering, "This sucks." Since then, whenever praise for the album is brought up, he shakes his head and says, "Sucks so bad..." That's my two cents, anyway.
Posted 09/29/2006 - 08:50:35 AM by kriminal_01:
 I'd like to raise a question for anyone willing to listen. Is it really possible to review a mars volta album? Just think about it.
Posted 09/29/2006 - 01:36:54 PM by diggles:
 that's actually a really good point ...
Posted 10/02/2006 - 12:51:01 PM by kriminal_01:
 Every review never seems to nail an effective explanation of the pros (or cons) of the album/s. Credit to the reviewer for his last paragraph noting the "take-it-or-leave-it corollary". However this strikes me as a statement suggesting (proving?) their material is ultimately unreviewable. This group seems too smart for that playa hata bullshit though, which means, are we too dumb? Is the whole point that the shite we are subjected to on the airwaves has fashioned us to only comprehend music in two dimensions these days? I've always thought that is what At the Drive-In were so angry about.
Posted 10/03/2006 - 04:33:56 AM by kriminal_01:
 Sometimes it takes ten minutes of silence to truly understand and appreciate the ten minutes of sound. Why is that a statement everyone ignores in music. Music is infinite, whose to judge this whole thing really? Let's not kid ourselves. We're not the heads of O-Rod and Ced. B.
Posted 10/03/2006 - 10:01:20 AM by johnedowney:
 But can you blame the reviewer for TRYING to do his job? He can judge it because he listened to the album and gave his honest opinion concerning what he heard. If an artist wants his/her fans to seriously look into their work, they have to give both short-term payoffs and long-term payoffs. That's why many critics referred to Sleater-Kinney as the best American band of the last 10 years; you could certainly rock out to it, but there was also a bit more depth in their songs than most of their peers put in their songs. I agree with TMV on a superficial level; the album SHOULD be preserved as an art form, and artists SHOULDN'T be bound by the restrictions of radio. But that doesn't mean that a band should be able to release whatever the hell they want and call it a masterpiece. "De-loused" had a center to it, but you weren't exactly the better for it for figuring the concept out. I thought I liked "Frances" for the longest time, but now, I can only listen to one song on it ("L'Via"). The only track that doesn't make me laugh or feel sick here is "Vermicide" (which, as it turns out, is the song that most of TMV's fans hate the most). They can record their instruments in separate rooms, they can add vocal effects to Cedric, they can make several songs go past the 10-minute mark, and they can sing their songs in another language, but a bucket is still a bucket. "Relationship of Command" was a chalice. You don't drink out of buckets, and you don't put crap in a chalice. One thought before I shut up: if an artist releases a work of art that is only moving, funny, or dramatic to the artist, how is the artist's audience supposed to accept it?
Posted 10/03/2006 - 05:17:35 PM by diggles:
 i reviewed this album elsewhere and couldn't bring myself to give it more than what would equate to a 'c-' ... I really tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, too, they're just not harnessing their amazing power through the course of a full album yet. I think someday they just might make the perfect prog album though
Posted 10/04/2006 - 12:17:24 PM by kriminal_01:
 No offence guys (or girls?) but i think you've missed my point slightly. There is no possible criteria or checklist for assessing these albums. MY PERSONAL opinion is that they transcend all that bullshit. Johnedowney, you say your brother thinks the album "sucks so bad..". Ask him to EXPLAIN to you why and i bet he will struggle to offer something that really captures the way he FEELS about it. Dont worry, most people would, because its hard to UNDERSTAND these albums. In the end, liking or disliking this album is not the point. Understanding why you take up one of these two positions is the essence. Listening to a mars volta album makes you realize this. It is truly something incredible.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 12:21:44 PM by kriminal_01:
 Btw, artists always release works that strike THEM as moving, funny or dramatic. The whole point is so that their fanbase are the people who react to these things in the same way.
Posted 10/04/2006 - 12:22:56 PM by kriminal_01:
 It's the link between the person making and those who use it. It's what they share.
Posted 10/05/2006 - 09:49:54 AM by johnedowney:
 Okay, sure, the artist's work has to strike him/herself as moving, etc, and I'm sure that this album does strike TMV as important, and I'm sure that there is a substantial population who feels something positive when they listen to 'Amputechture'. What you ignore krim, though, is that music is one of the easiest art forms to assess. Consider that the audience hears the same vocals, hears the same time signatures...well, basically, they hear the same thing. So, in other words, there is a big difference between asking "How does this guitar solo make me feel?" and "Is this a good guitar solo?" Now, almost all of the solos here are either (A) predictable, (B) uninteresting besides the amount of skill required to execute it, or (C) both. Yeah, this album makes me feel. It makes me feel sick. This was a band that I spent a few years analyzing, hoping that at some point, they would combine their considerable skills with some sense of (good) logic, but it's been downhill since "De-loused". At this point, though, I think that the fanbase would be willing to accept anything that these guys release. "Day Of The Baphomets" is seriously one of the worst songs I have ever heard in my life (rips off their earlier material, bongo solo, and "POACHERS IN YOUR HANDSSSS!!!"), but fans of TMV have singled it out as one of the best songs TMV have ever released. Their best song was "Concertina": sweet intro, strong rhythm section around the chorus, and a diss en espanol. My brother's biggest beef with this album, btw, is that they keep ripping off their earlier material. Ahem: Vicarious Atonement=Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore, Vermicide=The Widow, Asilos Magdalena=Televators, Viscera Eyes=L'Via L'Viaquez, and Day of the Baphomets=Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt. One last point: most people only look at reviews if they're not sure if they should buy an album. Most Mars Volta fans don't need to read reviews in order to make up their mind about a purchase. "Amputechture", at best, speaks to the choir. The rest of the world, I imagine, isn't going to church.
Posted 10/12/2006 - 10:16:11 AM by kriminal_01: offence dude but this is the fuc*ing MARS VOLTA we are talking about. These are not your average joes of the reality t.v. world. THIS IS A BAND THAT WOULD BREAK UP FIRST BEFORE MAKING AN ALBUM THAT RIPS OFF THEIR EARLIER WORK. I'm sorry but i have to say that comment is preposterous. It amazes me you still haven't made the connection that this is a band who knows that the whole world knows how fuc*ing talented they are (see: "Relationship Of Command") yet still have the balls to make the albums they do as TMV. This is no top of the pops, record company manufactured hits machine. Can you even play these guitar solos? The reality is neither me or you can really judge them as predictable or uninteresting, so please dont use that as an area of "assessment." It's just wrong. Don't give up on this band so prematurely, they are still so young. I realise you don't like this album and i accept that, but i cannot accept that you don't appreciate (respect) this album. It's an incredible work that you, me or anyone would struggle to weave in several lifetimes let alone one...and that's the way the cooke crumbles.
Posted 10/13/2006 - 03:01:36 PM by johnedowney:
 Cedric is a great singer, and Omar is a great guitarist. Those qualities have little to do with being good musicians, though. Creating music is a process of only putting in what is necessary, while leaving out the rest. "Tetragrammaton" COULD have been a great song if they knew which parts to leave in. The "Viscera Eyes" radio edit is better than the song on the album because the version on the album goes on for about 5 minutes too long (and by the way, EVERY person that I've talked to that has listened the two songs has said that "Viscera Eyes" and "L'Via L'Viaquez" sound almost indistinguishable, so at least give me that much). I'm not saying that I like songs that are less than 5 minutes long, though; it's the issue of how much time is necessary to get your ideas across. "A Widow's Toast" by Neko Case is a good example; it's 90 seconds long but is successful in getting her point across. (Examples of longer songs on my iPod: "The Ends" by Subtle, "City Hall" by Tenacious D, "Eulogy" by Tool, and "My Ass Is On Fire" by Mr. Bungle.) If an artist has to choose between making a song shorter or longer, I would prefer it if they made the song shorter; that way, instead of getting worn out, I am left wanting more. Now, on to today's edition of "Attack The Fanboy." "The whole world knows they are talented, yet they continue to make TMV-type albums." (johnedowney puts on his "I Went To A Liberal Arts College And All I Got Was A Pompous Attitude (And This Shirt, Which Sucks Ass And Should Go Back To Listening To Kelly Clarkson Because It Obviously Knows Nothing About Music)") So, you're saying that TMV should be celebrated because they are no longer making albums as good as "Relationship"? Sure sounds like it. "This is no top of the pops, record company manufactured machine." Whoa. That's right. This is the INDIES we're talking about here. So, how do they sell so many records? "Frances The Mute" entered the Billboard charts at #4, and "Amputechture" entered at #9. I mean, it's not as though they have the same financial backing as 50 Cent, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, and U2. Oh, wait, THEY DO; they're signed to both GSL (to let us know that they are independent) and Universal Music Group (the largest business group and record-label owner in the music industry). So THAT'S how they got Flea to appear on the album! "Can you even play these parts?" Now THAT is the biggest mistake that a fanboy can make, because that argument can be applied to EVERY band in the ENTIRE world if you really want to. I realize that the music here is hard to play. I don't care. Plenty of bands have made better music despite having less knowledge of how their instruments work (hello, White Stripes and the Stooges). That "you can't play this music" argument is an immature response. It doesn't say anything about the QUALITY of the music; instead, it is aimed to point out inadequacies in the other person. It's a sure way to get kicked out of debate club, let me tell you that. "Can't judge them because you haven't walked a mile in their shoes." Okay. IF YOUR MUSIC IS BASED PRIMARILY IN YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, EXPERIENCES, DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES, BUT YOU DO NOT GIVE YOUR AUDIENCE ANY THRESHOLD TO GRAB ONTO, THEN YOUR WORK WILL END UP SOUNDING LIKE PRETENTIOUS, RAMBLING, INCOHERENT CRAP. How can I judge them so harshly? Well, I have ears. I have a mouth (and fingers!). AND I have an opinion. All that being said, I have not given up on them completely, since, well, read the first sentence again. I'm just going to keep burning copies of their albums onto my computer from my friends until they release a good album. (Oh, and wouldn't you know: Omar has said that they are already halfway through writing their next album. I'm confident that this next album will be a masterp...waitaminute, WHO STARTS WRITING THEIR NEXT ALBUM A MONTH AFTER RELEASING THEIR LAST ONE?!)
Posted 10/14/2006 - 04:58:40 AM by kriminal_01:
 Could you have misunderstood my comment any more than you have...wait let me check your response you couldn't have. At least quote me quoted me a few times saying something that wasn't even in my comment(???). Bit of a magician are we? Does TMV sound like a band constrained by the record executives. NO. Of course they're successful. That's because they are fucking good. Make no mistake, there is no one forcing them to write what will suit Top Of The Pops and MTV playlists. That is what my point was about. Your comment about Flea is priceless. He would probably want to smack you around for it. You shouldn't talk about things you know absolutely f*ckall about. This also applies to you believing you have the capacity to judge TMV guitar solos when all you could probably do with a guitar is shove it up your ass. Notice how i am talking about the SOLOS not the MUSIC which you seem to have confused my comment with. What makes you think you can JUDGE them in this area. Any sensible person would recognise the fantastic guitar work in this album. You sure you're listening to the same album? Your rabble about dreams and nightmares etc. is also something to give anyone a headache. THEY ARE PEOPLE ASSHOLE, they live and die and lose friends and fall in love and do drugs JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. This is all in their music for ANYONE TO "GRAB ONTO" if they actually bother to LISTEN. They're not aliens from another planet mofo. And so f*cking what if they write another album a month after releasing one. Don't tell me you also have a limit for timing between album releases in your wonderful list of assessment criteria. It's not their fault they can come up with new ideas quickly. What a ridiculously dumb thing to say.
Posted 10/14/2006 - 05:01:25 AM by kriminal_01:
 I realise you have ears, a mouth and an opinion but you also have a BRAIN. It's about time you start fucking use it. Especially if you're going to banter shit around Stylus hehehe.
Posted 10/14/2006 - 09:44:52 PM by johnedowney:
 Funny how I can explain exactly why I don't like this album and you can't explain why you like it.
Posted 10/21/2006 - 04:29:47 AM by kriminal_01:
 Funny how i can see how retarded you sound in your comments but you can't.
Posted 10/22/2006 - 01:27:56 PM by johnedowney:
 You know what, let's go through this album, song by song, trying to figure out it's genius. TRACK #1: Boring. Uninteresting. Nonsensical. Overlong. Doesn't work as an intro track, either (intros work best when they're short, as in "Son Et Lumiere"). TRACK #2: If it wasn't painfully obvious who writes the music for TMV already, this song fills you in. Lyrics make no sense, and not in a cool way, either (seriously, how am I supposed to react to a line like "The Kiosk in my temporal lobe is shaped like Rosalyn Carter?" I read that line in SomethingAwful's review of the album and thought the reviewer was exaggerating, but it's in there. I SUPPOSE it could be seen as just one part where the narrator is losing his insanity, but that doesn't make much sense in a song about, you know, GOD). There isn't any proper buildup to any of the solos. The solos themselves are difficult to execute, though, so credit must be given there. Then again, it's also difficult to strangle yourself to death, and I don't hear anyone getting props for THAT. TRACK #3: At least the groove lasts through the whole song, and the chorus ain't half bad. The noodling is kept at a minimum due to the song's length, which is as it should be. TRACK #4: The intro is laughable. The drums aren't that bad, but everything else here is. When I counted how many times I could spot a solo coming, I got EVERY solo on this song correct. How am I supposed to react to "Humans as ornaments?" Yeah, okay, symbolism in religion, whatever, but that's taking a shortcut. WAY too long. Condensing the song to around 5 minutes would have helped. TRACK #5: Intro sucks. It's in Spanish; so what. Seems like obfuscation for its own sake. Breakdown at around 4:45 makes no sense, and again, not in a cool way. TRACK #6: Like the intro. Carries a nice groove for a little more than 2 minutes. The song is 9 minutes long, though. That's a lot of fat that could be trimmed. The easiest way to trim that fat would be to--take a guess--cut a few solos (ESPECIALLY the 7:00-8:00 parts). Could have been a great 4:00 song, and since it was originally written as part of At The Drive-In, it probably was at one point. TRACK #7: Great intro, followed by total, complete crap (the horns make no sense at all). Cedric is in "Take The Veil" mode here; his vocal effects around 3:30 remind me of a MadTV skit where Randy Newman records the new Star Wars soundtrack with Rob Zombie. This song doesn't require a group of talented musicians, just a lot of musicians. Bongo solo at around 9:55 always reminds me of how much this song sucks, and why: bunch of instruments being played without any sense of logic. TRACK #8: Not a song; at best, it provides a respite before the album repeats, which is pointless, since the first track provides a respite before the album begins properly. Individual song scores: 2/10, 3/10, 7/10, 3/10, 1/10, 3/10, -10/10, 0/10. 9/80=0.1125. Score=12 out of 100. Just for kicks, Krim, why don't YOU try grading the album?
Posted 10/22/2006 - 11:18:54 PM by kriminal_01:
 Wow, what a thorough analysis. You don't write for Stylus do you? It's obvious you dont actually care to understand any of the things you don't like in each of the songs. You find a part you don't like and somehow allow it to ruin the whole song for you. The album doesn't really stand a chance in your hands and ears. You sound exactly like the record company executive that gives AFI the contract over The Mars Volta because he judges it in the same shallow manner as yourself. Do you not want The Mars Volta to explore the talent they are blessed with?
Posted 10/23/2006 - 11:49:00 AM by johnedowney:
 (1) My favorite album of the past year--whenever I've talked about it, I've referred to it as "the best album I've ever heard"--is Subtle's "For Hero: For Fool". It is billed as a concept album, yet the actual concept is muggy, even to me. Certainly, there are running themes throughout, but that's all you get on the surface. What themes are those? Fear of God vs. Love of God, class differences, and greed, from what I can tell (and I'm not even sure about those ones). The biggest difference between "Amputechture" and "For Hero: For Fool" is that Subtle's album is FUN, which makes it easier to care about the songs. If TMV released a song like "Message to Harry Manback", I'd probably be able to relate to them easier. (2) It's obvious that I don't like this album, so I pointed out the really sore points in my "analysis". If you want to point out the good parts, go ahead, prove me wrong. If you don't, then you are obviously a 6-year-old hooker whose native language is Swedish and aspires to grow up to be a pitcher for the New York Yankees. (Now that you mention it, though, baseless comments are fun! I should do this more often. Ahem: "Robert DeNiro obviously loves to dress up in women's clothing and act out the last scene in 'Gone With The Wind'. I mean, it's SO obvious.") (3) To me, TMV are the musical equivalent of David Foster Wallace. There's definitely some good ideas in both of their works, but there's also a lot of fat that needs to be cut from both in order to get to the good stuff. The reason why I'm so hard on TMV is because I do think they are talented individuals who are making the wrong kind of music (also, nobody's ever gotten better by hearing compliments all the time). Omar's had his chance behind the boards, and he has proven--twice--that he doesn't belong there; there really isn't any other way to explain the overload of guitar solos. They were doing fine with At the Drive-In, and I honestly do like "Tremulant" and half of "De-loused", but their current output could use a really good editor. (Seriously, try reading "Oblivion"; the best story in it is 3 pages long, while the worst is 63 pages long.) (4) I would have given the Rapper's Delight Club a contract over both AFI and TMV. At least they have a mature adult keeping them under control. (5) I do want to see if you can analyze this album the way you think it deserves. Don't come up with any crap about how you're not able to. You've given your opinion; find evidence to back it up.
Posted 10/27/2006 - 11:55:47 AM by kriminal_01:
 You keep reviewing your music as "good" or "bad". I wish you well.
Posted 10/27/2006 - 11:58:00 AM by kriminal_01:
 One piece of advice : read over the things you post because they really are the definition of stupid.
Posted 10/27/2006 - 02:25:13 PM by johnedowney:
 kriminal_01, please state WHY you like this album. You were willing to read my arguments concerning why I don't like it, and I would like to give you the same consideration. Also, when making your argument, make sure to not have the whole thing be based on your opinions and "feelings", as relying on them will result in you sounding like a fanboy with a bone to pick. Again.
Posted 10/29/2006 - 06:39:07 AM by kriminal_01:
 I'll make a deal with you johnedowney. YOU state why you don't like this album THEN i'll state why i like this album. My replies have merely been an attempt to make you realize your "reasons" for disliking it are quite hollow. SO FOR ONE LAST TIME...i understand you don't like this album but understand that you don't have a clue WHY YOU DON'T LIKE IT. It's so easy to level the kind of criticisms you do at this album which also makes it easy for everyone to see how ignorant [AND DUMB!:)]you really are.
Posted 10/29/2006 - 06:42:14 AM by kriminal_01:
 P.S. I quote Jerry Maguire here. "HELP ME, HELP YOU." I hope one day these posts serve as the spark that helps you become a better reviewer than the great one that you are today.
Posted 10/29/2006 - 10:36:32 AM by johnedowney:
 My reasons for not liking this album can be boiled down to the following: (1) The good ideas in it are surrounded by so much crap, it isn't worth looking for them. (2) The uneven song lengths make listening to individual tracks aggravating. (This was actually pointed out by my brother, who burned a copy of the album and tried listening to it in his car. After the 7-minute intro song, followed by the 16-minute long song, he lost his patience and turned it off. This, coming from a guy who worships the Dillinger Escape Plan.) (3) There are too many guitar solos. If there was any other producer behind the boards, then a good portion of Omar's/that guy from the Red Hot Chili Peppers who doesn't look like Iggy Pop (and isn't Flea)'s work would have been cut. As an example, I'll point out his mini-solo at around 1:42 in "Meccamputechture". It doesn't serve much purpose other than delaying the song from reaching the bridge to the chorus (and it isn't all that interesting, either). It lasts for only a few seconds, to be sure, but with this type of music, it's the little things that can run a song for me. In terms that are easier to understand, it's like seeing a boom in the shot of a movie. Now, I do understand that this music is hard to perform, I'll give them that much. I also recognize that it's difficult to write material using some of the varying time structures that they use. But there's a difference between writing a song in a 15/8 time signature and writing a good song in a 15/8 time signature. Granted, of course, I'm not sure what a 15/8 time signature is, but seeing as how the only song that I like on "Amputechture" is a slow ballad, I'm confident in saying that this album doesn't contain a good song that uses a 15/8 time signature. I judge bands from album to album, though, not by their entire body of work. They've made two good albums, and they've made two bad albums (I'm not counting "Scabdates"), but they've made two bad albums in a row. That's what I usually call "A good time to get off the bandwagon." Now, this has nothing to do with anything, but I feel that it's worth bringing up: Omar has said that he's halfway through writing the next MV album. He said this earlier this month. There are tentative plans to start recording in January. That's not much time to go over your own material, especially if you happen to use as many tools as TMV use. I mean, I do have some great albums on my iPod that were made over a short period of time (Buck 65's "Vertex" was made in one week with only an SP 1200), but those were usually made with a budget in mind and a little luck. Bruce Springsteen took 6 months to write "Born to Run"'s title track, and that song is 4:30 long. I'm not saying that Omar can't write a great TMV-style album in such a short length of time. I'm just saying that it's very unlikely to happen.
Posted 10/31/2006 - 12:12:11 PM by kriminal_01:
 The funniest thing is that you come off sounding as if this music would be so easy for YOU to make. You single out missteps of the album as if you actually know how it "SHOULD" be made. That is why you sound like a fuckin* idiot. If you know everything wrong with the album why dont you make it and send it to me. Maybe that way i'll know what the fuc* you are talking about when you review it.
Posted 10/31/2006 - 02:40:43 PM by johnedowney:
 Way to tell me why you liked this album.
Posted 11/15/2006 - 08:58:39 AM by kriminal_01:
 Why should i say why i like this album?. You're the one that posted a "review" of it. It's not my fault i pointed out that you were talking shi* and probably connected to a crack pipe at the time of writing.
Posted 11/15/2006 - 12:06:39 PM by johnedowney:
 I said that I would give my reasons for not liking the album if you gave your reasons for not liking the album. I fulfilled my end of the deal. Now you do your part. BTW, I'm straight-edge.
Posted 11/15/2006 - 12:07:08 PM by johnedowney:
 I meant, "your reasons for liking the album." Minor brainfart.
Posted 12/15/2006 - 07:58:53 PM by johnedowney:
 ...guess I won.
Posted 02/26/2007 - 01:37:09 PM by Travis_Parker:
 Wow, that kriminal kid was a douche. I'm a fan of ATDI (the Vaya EP is brilliant), their first EP and De-loused. Some of my favorite moments come at the very end of De-loused, when Cedric yells "Who brought me here?" And Jon Theodore's drumming on De-Loused is brilliant. Anyway, Amputechture sucks. Frances had 2-3 minute highlights at a time. Oh, and guess what? The record execs aren't releasing the 31 minute or 17 minute songs to radio; they're chopping down the songs to fit the length. And they are so much better! Wow! You can still evaluate albums like this as music. No band, no matter how talented, no matter how good their body of work, not even Radiohead can stop making "music" and start making art-house masturbation bongo latino rock and hope that enough critics "understand" them and hope to garner any respect. There's no magic to understanding the mars volta. They have to be judged by the same criteria. Radiohead has released 4 amazing, brilliant albums, one excellent album and a pretty lame but promising debut. And then in 2004 they released the Com Lag EP and it sucked. They didn't get a get out of jail free card because they're Radiohead. They got bad reviews just like everyone else would have in the same situation. Understanding the mars volta amounts to either toking up or just pretending that you enjoy it. I mean, my first experience with Amputechture was on my way to snowboarding, and I fell asleep half of the time and the other times there was nothing to catch my attention. I have a very broad taste, one that Mars Volta has nestled into, assuming they start writing songs as good as either of their ESPs from De-Loused. And their cod, freeform jams are terrible, have no focus and really speak to no one. Their best member has left, and even when he was with the band, he wasn't part of the Mars Volta, but was one of the Mars Volta Band. Ouch. Just Cedric and Omar are the Mars Volta, even though Theodore was their strongest asset (I only listen to Volta for the drumming sometimes) and one of the greatest drummers alive. You have to be talented to be part of Mars Volta. Flea and Frusciante are great musicians. But the last two Mars Volta albums are not great music. And this next album is going to get even worse. Having everyone play in a room by themselves is probably killing the music as well. I mean, what about cohesion? The individual music might be better, but there's a reason the TMV live show is so much more impressive. Besides the fact that Omar and Cedric are very, very fun to watch. Even still, the ATDI live show was better. The best thing that Cedric and Omar have their name on is the Vaya EP, and they have yet to one-up that. It has seriously been a downhill slide since that point. There's a way to do long songs that are brilliant. The guitar-pronged attack of Sonic Youth on Murray Street is one of my favorite examples. All of Pink Floyd's Animals. Smashing Pumpkins "Sliver****." Yo La Tengo's first and last song of their 2006 release. Then, Sonic Youth has the other stuff, like the SYR releases, particularly 3 and 6, have these crazy jams that are STILL more listenable AND better than Amputechture. I'll chalk that one up to Sonic Youth have a stronger, more intelligent musical background, because I won't claim to enjoy SYR 3 and 6 (but SYR 1 is freaking awesome) whatsoever. But I hear SYR 4 is pretty good. Whatever, TMV could be so awesome.
Posted 06/28/2007 - 03:42:00 AM by potsos:
 Oh my. I should have come back after posting. Ah well, a day later, a year later, whatever. Still enjoying Amputechture. Still finding Baphomets to be my favorite song on the album. It's no Deloused, but I'm still spinning it. Disagreeing on music is as much a part of being human as taking a dump and will be until the end of time. It only becomes a mess when we try to apply labels like "good" or "bad" to something so subjective. For all his effort (and there was obviously a GREAT deal), johnedowney just found many ways to say the same thing: "I don't like this album." The reasons are semantic. You either enjoy listening to something or you don't and it's ridiculous to imply that your *opinion* is somehow the correct answer to some binary question. To johnedowney, this is an awful piece of crap. To me, it's a good album from a great band. The best part is, we're both right. Enjoy.