The Mars Volta, Frances the Mute

The Mars Volta has the attitude that there are no limitations to music. Their aggressive debut, De-loused in the Comatorium, was hard to pigeonhole but acknowledged that they were a musical force to be reckoned with. Frances the Mute has softer touches than their debut, but is a lot weirder. Produced by guitarist Omar A Rodriguez-Lopez, the Mars Volta brought their live band into the studio to record utter chaos. They band presents a passionate mix of classic psychedelic rock, strings, squealing Bitches Brew-era jazz, ambient keyboards, scary vocal tricks, and salsa prog rock. To top it all off, Frances the Mute has 15 interconnected songs inspired by a diary that late band-mate Jeremy Ward found before his suicide. At times the Mars Volta can be unfocused and pretentious, but they take you on such a wild ride that you just don't care. (Universal) Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

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