The Mars Volta


NoctourniquetWarner **

Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López surprised many by reforming their former band, At the Drive-In, for some live dates, but that doesn’t mean that the oddest “odd couple” of hardcore prog-rock have turned their backs on their current post. Noctourniquet, their sixth release as The Mars Volta, is as off-the-wall and wildly unpredictable as anything that’s come before. Asymmetric rhythms collide with squalls of noise on almost every song, Bixler-Zavala’s demonic shriek making tracks such as Dyslexicon and In Absentia nightmarishly unsettling listens. The Malkin Jewel and Molochwalker are easier to digest, their feral improv-style jams settling just long enough for the listener to process. Ultimately, however, Noctourniquet is as acquired a taste as any Mars Volta album; brilliantly strange at its best, but too much like hard work at its worst.

Download tracks:The Malkin Jewel, Molochwalker