Mars Volta Shows Softer Side

Album still rocks, even pared-down
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 2:25 PM CDT
In this CD cover image released by Warner Bros., the latest by The Mars Volta, "Octahedron," is shown.   (AP Photo/Warner Bros.)
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(Newser) – With the latest release, Mars Volta has lived up to its “best prog-rockers of 2008” title, writes Mike Ragogna for the Huffington Post. Octahedron “may bang a little less, but musically competes with most classic albums of that genre.” And—good news for anyone put-off by the band’s tendency toward the obscure—it’s also “their most accessible album yet.”

The almost-acoustic music “gives this vessel a mystic coat of paint,” Ragogna continues. “Though some tracks do rock, this is a brand of Volta we've only heard hints of on earlier records, and their version of ‘acoustic’ is really just relative.” Fans who are a bit let down by the “mellow” pace and “somewhat pared-down” music will be happy to discover that “the lyrics still kick and claw.”