The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
- Mark Robertson
- 31 January 2008
Listening to the barrage emanating from the speakers for 78 minutes it’s hard to believe that Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (for they are the heart, soul and hair of The Mars Volta) have reeled things in for album four. OK, so they haven’t in the conventional sense, but have condensed and intensified their sonic alchemy into tangible, almost song-like hunks. The harrying dynamic syncopation, endless skittering guitar lines and Bixler’s wild falsetto wail are still the missing link between On the Corner-era Miles Davis, Blood Sugar-era Red Hot Chili Peppers and From Enslavement-era Napalm Death, and while the album lacks the bottom end punch and epic sweep of 2005’s Frances the Mute, it houses enough furious, furiously adventurous ideas to warrant repeat listens.