ARTIST: The Mars Volta
TITLE: De-Loused in the Comatorium
YEAR RELEASED: 2003
CHART ACTION: #39 US, #43 UK
SINGLES: Inertiatic ESP (#42 UK), Televators (#41 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not on the radio, no.
LINEUP: Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Jon Theorod, Isaiah Owens, Flea, Jeremy Michael Ward
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Progressive, experimental rock band cobbled together from the ashes of At The Drive In releases a powerful, trippy debut.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: One complaint about progressive rock concept albums is that the story is hard to follow, especially for casual listeners. Also, the songs don’t tend to work well together as solo set pieces for the most part.
While the storyline is complicated and complex, and if you want to follow it attention is required. However the music, while progressive and complex, is engineered that you can enjoy it in bits and pieces easily. The riffs and time signatures are dizzying at times.
Bixler-Zavala and Ward created the story, and Rodriguez-Lopez crafted the music. They wanted to take music into the future, and while the band complained that Rick Rubin watered it down, it still sounded like nothing from 2003.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They released a three-song EP in 2002
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, UK, Japan and Australia got an extra track and Australia also had some live cuts and sessions.
GRADE: A-: Complex and staggeringly original with a complicated storyline, but palatable to casual fans.