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The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute

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The Mars Volta have a new album coming out soon. I listened to it over the weekend. It is absolutely amazing. This band is some former members of At the Drive-in and they have created a soundscape with their latest musical journey. I never thought I would see the day where a band could bridge the gap between indie rock, metal and prog rock. This band is one part Tool, one part At the Drive-in and a teeny tiny bit of Rush.

This album has only five tracks, but goes on for around an hour. It is slightly self-indulgent in parts, but the various highs and lows that they reach in between the down times will make it totally worth it.

Adventurous can go either way on an album, but The Mars Volta pull it off on this one.

this first appeared at FilteringCraig.com

About Craig Lyndall

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt Egan

    The first album is great. I’ve been trying to get my hands on The Widow, which I think is the first song off of the album. They have a unique sound. I dig.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Apparently this album was recorded at various places all over the country and includes some trumpet playing by The Red Hot Chili Peppers’, Flea as well as some guitar work by John Frusciante.

    Really cool stuff.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Also important to note about the Mars volta is how much different they are than Sparta. Given these two bands after they broke up from At the Drive In it is quite obvious that they were on different paths. Probably couldn’t have happened any other way.

  • http://www.kalyr.com Tim Hall

    I’m still pissed off about their UK tour selling out three months in advance :(

  • mamoulian

    seeing them next week in brussels, album is not really clear to me yet, after 3 times listening, but what the heck: “de-loused…” also took me quite some time. I’ll have to rush to “get into it” (frances the mute i mean). bloody pissed i missed tickets for “bright eyes” in brussels monday.grrrrrr…

  • martin

    Well; Strong, loud and dark album frances the mute is. since i get my hands on it in early december im still listening to it like a real addict everyday. Yeah i took it from the internet but im still gonna buy this album !

  • guitarbeast

    LIKING SOMETHING OTHER PEOPLE DON’T LIKE DOESN’T MAKE YOU SPECIAL AND SUPER-INTELLIGENT. SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T LISTEN TO EXPERIMENTAL, DRUG-FUCKED, ESOTERIC PROG-ROCK BECAUSE IT SUCKS, NOT BECAUSE THEY OPERATE ON A LOWER MENTAL PLATEAU THAN YOU.

  • Matt

    Yeah, maybe. But anyone who talks in full caps is most certainly on a lower mental plateau. But either way this album is epic to say the least. I’ve seen them twice and am going again to london next week to see them again, now admittedly despite knowing Deloused and the Tremulant EP in and out it still took me 3 or 4 listens to really get into it, but if you can honestly give it the time it needs, and you can listen to the whole album without feeling a damn thing, it doesn’t mean you’re on a lower plane to anyone else, it just means you don’t have a soul. :)

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Easy there guitarbeast. Oh, and just so you know this was the first album that the boys have ever done completely clean and sober.

  • HJW

    Where did you read that about the sobriety, Craig?

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com FilteringCraig

    The interview in Alternative Press… they discuss the overdose death of their keyboard/sound effects guy last year. The name escapes me right now, but the band made a pact because they felt like junkies and didn’t want that feeling anymore.

    I think it is kind of funny that they put out an album with an average song length of over 10 minutes when they quit doing drugs.

    Maybe they had been doing drugs so long that being sober felt like being high.

  • http://unarocks.blogspot.com Una

    Deloused… is an amazing record. But in my opinion, ‘Widow’ is pretty bad. I think The Mars VOlta are getting far to introspective and losing the run of method previously incorporated in stuff on deloused…

    I hate using the word ‘pretentious’, but it seems ‘widow’ is scattered and not in the good way that they’ve done previously. It’s kind of uncomfortable listening.

  • http://askmanny.com Manny

    I perceive their work as coming closer to a blend between the sound of Porcuping Tree and Godspeed you Black Emperor, part space rock, part prog rock. I was blown away by it. In particular, track #3, where they jump back and forth so effortlessly between hard rock and acid-jazz/salsa. VERY impressive!

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com FilteringCraig

    One of the truly amazing things that I have noticed with my friends is that some are really into metal and some are really into indie. The Mars Volta is one of the first bands in recent memory that has been able to bridge the gap between the two. My metal friends love them as much as my indie friends.

    It should make for some interesting audiences at shows.

  • Jorge

    I’ve been listening to Frances The Mute for a few days now and must say Im really impressed with everything going on in it. I am personally a fan of long james ala Coltrane and Davis. Was never really into Phish, but I wouldnt compare Volta to Phish anyway. The Mars Volta are AMAZING LIVE!!!! I was completely floored seeing them.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    iTunes has only one song available from the 5 – the Widow – available from the album separately. It’s the shortest at 5 minutes, with all others at over 12 minutes. It sounds quite good though

  • SambaQueen

    In order to truly appreciate what they’re doing you have to see them live. The drummer Jon Theodore is amazing, and the intricacy of the percussion in frances the mute and de-loused harkens back to the days of miles-like vitality and pure musical exploration. Frances the mute reminds me a lot of early WAR. I love the mars volta’s soul and improvisation, particularly in concert (wiltern, chile and long beach).

    I’ve been listening to de-loused on repeat for about 2 weeks now, and I stand by my opinion that these guys are awesome musicians, hands down. Frances the mute demonstrates their mastery over the challenge of successfully drawing from both past and present influences to create a unique and powerful sound in a post-pomo era centered around ironically feigned individuality.

  • Camwise

    hey hey,
    Congrats to all who have posted comments on this site it seems that everyone has listened to it, thought about it and not jumped to retarded unecessary conclusion about the band and the new album, (cept for guitarbeast, mmmm, seems such a troubled and unloved person just lashing out at the world :P) yeah new album is great. there’s so much to it, too much to it in fact. It’s sorta wierding me out now but i’m sure time will bring more understanding of the musical and vocal concepts. cheers
    and i’m so jealous of you guys that are going to the concerts argh, i live in Australia.

  • Steve-o

    Im also impressed with the calibre of this post site and agree that deloused was indeed a splendid technical show and have just ordered Frances and am very interested to hear the sound of it. I am also from Australia but was lucky enough to see their set at Sydney,BDO 2004 and was blown away by an intense stageshow and an entire set that i believe only had one break the entire hour! ROCK ON!!!

  • chupacabra2007

    these guys are gonna be something huge…the way i think the doors and pink floyd is the way we will think of the mars volta in 30 years.

  • http://maxernst pedro vasconez

    its so good to see so many people who like the mars volta too. its hard to imagine a band as complete as this one….blending so many different rithms and mastering every one and every instrument, being able to maintain coherence and structure in their songs even though they last 15 min and have so many different parts in them. amazing. cant wait to see them live. excelent grafic artwork too. motivates me to create something. if anybody lives in charlotte and would like to make a band. i play bass. for 4 years now. i just got here, left a band without its bass (base) back home. dont lose anything and can win a lot.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com FilteringCraig

    Apparently, their live show isn’t that good, but I don’t know for sure because I haven’t seen them yet.

  • http://martin martin

    one thing i’ve learned about listening to music, is that you should never get involved with the artists.. its a long story.

    the mars volta is/are a good band, i just think they need to lay off the pretencious bird chirping

  • rb voltalover

    i say volta this summer with the peppers, i missed first couple songs but the playing was outstanding! unreal musicians i love these guys lots of feel in their music no matter wut any 1 says .