Day 219: The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute

5 Oct

The Widow

Seven-plus months into this project, I figured that I had heard it all.  So either the airborne chlamydia that has infected me on its rampage through my school has gone to my head, or I really did just hear a guy belt out a song that can only be described as post-hard-indie-core, partially in Spanish.  I pray that it’s the latter.

Oh and don’t worry, airborne chlamydia is about the equivalent of a respiratory infection.  But, it’s not every day that one gets to say that their school gave them chlamydia.

Straight-up, this is one of the strangest records that I’ve heard recently.  The Mars Volta has apparently never heard the word “genre” before, as it would be impossible for one to come close to accurately classifying the music that they make.  The scary part is, I kind of like it.

Emphasis on the “kind of.”  When The Volta stops messing around, and actually get down to playing some music, Frances the Mute is very entertaining.  Unfortunately, as is to be expected from a band of this nature, there’s plenty of “artsy” static and feedback.  Two minutes of your front man doing his best birdcalls just doesn’t do much for me.  Sorry guys.

A distilled version of Frances the Mute would have the potential to be an awesome record.  There’s just so much going on when these guys get around to playing some music. It’s angry, it’s happy, it’s foreign, and it’s intriguing all at the same time—if Muse were a good band, this is what they would sound like.  However, I’m having trouble moving past the 30-minute jazz odysseys that find a home all too frequently within this record.


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