Archive for May, 2007

Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas

Cocteau Twins is one of my very favourite bands for many years, so whatever I may write about them is partisan.

Heaven or Las Vegas is CT at their best. I think here they reached the level of “cosmic entity” as a band. Every song rapdly takes me to an altered state of mind. It’s relaxing, hypnotic. It’s magical, dazzling and seducing.

Everytime I want to introduce CT to someone I pick up this album, or a song from it.

Since Cocteau Twins is not only music, but a whole sensorial experience, it’s useless trying to put it in words.


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Circa Survive - On Letting Go

There were great expectations about the second album by Circa Survive, one of the top post-hardcore bands today.

Their first album was a huge shot and its neo prog approach brought up a lot of comparisons and discussions about Circa Survive and Anthony Green‘s previous bands, mainly the most illustrious Saosin.

First thing I noticed on On Letting Go was a much better audio production. The guitars are more clear, and the overall seems to be more balanced. The vocals don’t overwhelm anything.

Everybody is just working as well as in Juturna. But I noticed some differences on the drums parts. It seems to be more angular, pulsing, with almost dancing beats.

On Letting Go would easily be a 10/10 rating if it was Circa Survive‘s first release. It’s very good, but there’s nothing new here. It costed them 2 years to make this second album, and any song could be in Juturna.

Most people don’t even think about this kind of thing since the songs sound fresh (that’s the case).
But I wait for innovations every album so the unique down of On Letting Go is its lack of newness.

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Omar Rodriguez

Second solo album by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.
Curiously this one is auto entitled.

Anyway, now it really looks like Omar having some fun among his friends.
This album is a short collection of jazz fusion jams. Omar‘s playing is as hot as in The Mars Volta.
But around this yellow-covered album lies a supernatural 70’s aura.
You’ll get strong bass riffs, LOTS of saxes, percussion and obviously the burning guitar everywhere.

That’s the first time Omar shows clearly his jazz passion and influences. And lots of the jazzy elements that he experimented here would stay as definitive soils to the next coming TMV album, Amputechture.

This is a must-have for Omar‘s fans.

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack, Vol. 1

First solo album by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.

This is the soundtrack for a misteryous movie made by the own guitarman.
The music is deeply experimental. Noisy and atmospheric.

It’s very hard to follow the songs since they’re (at tleast theorically) soundtrack of a more expressive thing.

The album has some good moments, but the excessing cheap synthetic sounds (or mixing weakness) made the album more inexpressive than I’ve heard Omar on his previous records as a band member.

There’s a whole lot of people taking part on the recording, so I can understand the lack of cohesion.

Finally, I would like to watch to this almost imaginary movie by Omar, to have a better idead of it all.

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Bjork - Volta

Bjork is back, and for the happiness of many fans it seems she spent some time listening to her first albums.

After some experimental albums (inaccessible in some cases) it’s comforting to face Earth Intruders as the first track.

Of course there are experimental tracks, with random and atmospheric elements, but the whole album has a sense of “4-minutes-tracks”.
A term to describe Volta‘s ound is “multilayered”. There’s always something happening before the main sounds and voices. And that gives me a feeling of a double-leveled music.


The foresaid track, Innocence and Declare Independance are instant hits.
Volta is a strong album and a good surprise.

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Siouxsie and the Banshees - Juju

Siouxsie and the Banshees were a key band on the transition process from punk to post punk and new wave, and mainly the goth scene that would predominate the european clubs over the 80’s.

Juju is an incomparable masterpiece. The gothiest and most energetic moment of these english guys.
Pratically EVERY song is a hit.
The music is dark, claustrophobic, hypnotic and disturbing. The post punk synthesis.
All the members did very fine but John McGeoch‘s guitars and Siouxsie‘s vocals are the very highlights.

More than an 80’s classic, this is one of the best rock albums of all time.

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo

Third studio album by Omar, the man behind the music of The Mars Volta.

After A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack, Vol.1, an album extremely experimental, with lots of noises and atmospheric textures. And a homonious album with psychedelic jams, I didn’t know what to expect from Omar.
I think his second album is way more accessible. So whatever his third release could be, it’d be a surprise.

And it was. Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo is a cool mix of Omar‘s previous albums with a bigger “song-structured” sense.

SeƱor Rodriguez-Lopez‘s creativity seems endless. SDNB has new approaches and trials. (Including the pianno on the track that takes the album’s name. I totally disliked it)
And there’s more tracks with Cedric‘s vocals, so it obviously will sound familiar to TMV fans. Rapid Fire Tollbooth is a highlight.

Overall, it seems an intelligent album. There’s noise, atmospheric textures, psychedelic rock jams, dub effects and concise direct songs.
The album’s quality and variety makes it my fav Omar‘s solo thing.

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