Thursday, March 31, 2005

One hand washes the other.

Kori and I have been going back in forth, in a good way, about more and more modern music. She said that a band I mentioned made her want to write a blog on them. Well pretty much the same is going on here. She brought up a band derrived from metal/funk band At the Drive-In, known as the Mars Volta, who I consider one of the best bands out today, becuase of great skill, intelligent lyrics, and a willingness to experiment. Their willingness to experiment is what really interests me about this band because they're pretty far out. They can be compared to bands of the 70s like Pink Floyd who really played around with styles, but at the same time the Mars Volta has their own distinct sound which sounds like a fusion of Led Zeppelin, Parliament Funkadelic, metal, and even jazz.
The band is fronted by Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez who are both of Puerto Rican descent and infuse latin styles into many of their rhythms and instrumentation. Bixler-Zavala writes the lyrics and Rodriguez-Lopez writes the music, and as bizarre as both can seem at times, they come together in a way in which no other band can duplicate. It is obvious that Rodriguez-Lopez draws a lot of inspiration from George Clinton's band Funkadelic, in that the guitar has a distinct funk sound at many points and funk rhythms and basslines are added. Bixler-Zavala's voice and phrasing is similiar to that of Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and at times the band does have a big Led Zeppelin feel. Then the metal comes in, Mars Volta does not mind experimenting with sounds and the mixing of styles, and while sometimes their songs tend to drag on as the musicians play around with sound, it pays off in the end because their experimentations come together in the meat of their songs, and when that happens few modern bands can compare.


Blogger Kori said...

April 11, 2005
I completely agree with you about everything in this post. I believe that Mars Volta is one of the most incredible bands to hit the scene in a long time, and finally they are getting credit for it as they were featured in a recent issue of Alternative Press magazine, a magazine which usually gives the thumbs up to any band that follows the traditional pop-punk formula, and the thumbs down to anyone who wants to break the mold. I think finally people are seeing how influential this band is and how they have been influenced by the great music of the past such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. As you said, the band may sometimes seem as if their songs drone on and seem to never end, but it is their passion that drives the songs to continue, and that is something to be respected.

April 11, 2005 at 12:35 PM  

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