The first listening of Noctourniquet is very destabilizing almost choking as we didn’t expect such a turn of events! And slowly we begin to understand the new compositions and to realise the evidence that with 2012 The Mars Volta stroke very hard! Oh of course hardcore fans of the first hours will hate it, defenders of At The Drive-In will hate it, honorable rock critics will hate it and those who progressive melodic sound has tendencies to escape only from their nose holes will hate it! But for all the others it will be a shame not to hear with patience and attention this amazingly consistent album.
Forget the two tracks released in advanced, “Malkin Jewel” too classic (for Volta) and the more lyrical and epileptic “Zed and Two Naught”: despite their quality none of them takes this record in its highest spheres. The very synthetic constitution of Noctourniquet offers music pieces disturbing and fascinating at the same time, as in “The Whip Hand” which alternate strange couplets and anxious refrains. As it is, the album balance between tracks more high,built in a more melodic base and thereafter dynamite their foundation with a reinforcement of math-rock. But afterwards we have only ears for more simple tracks.
What, The Mars Volta work in a simple way? Yeah who could believe but: “Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound” really surprise with its soft restriction with a touch of alternate feedback in the back and “Imago” is driven away in a tinkling lullaby. It’s in all this counting that we appreciate the most all the subtility of Cedric Bixler Zavala, a man who always made a little too much vocally who know found a sovereign liberty in the shades brought with his organ. More, the duo BixlerZavala – Rodriguez Lopez try in their way a simple guitar-vox graceful and melodic and it works amazingly good. Better though the group give to tracks with fabulous limpidity, “Lapochka” and “Vedamalady” better than Radiohead in their better days, and in same way the track “Noctourniquet” gives a silent tribute to Pink Floyd’s “Have A Cigar”. Not without exception “In Absentia” rich in bluffly echoes but it will take some time to tame it.
The record itself is a really good surprise. So surprising that it could revise your opinion for this band due to their complexity in their past album, with a bucket full of beautiful tracks with counted mechanical torments. Waiting for the next crust-jazz latino-esoteric with funky tendencies album! Or not…
01. The Whip Hand
04. Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound
05. The Malkin Jewel
07. In Absentia
10. Trinkets Pale of Moon
13. Zed and Two Naughts
|Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar, keyboards, synths, direction, arrangements
Cedric Bixler-Zavala – vocals
Juan Alderete – bass
Deantoni Parks – drums