Mars Volta “The Malkin Jewel” From Upcoming Album

The sixth full-length studio album by the almighty latin-influenced progressive rock band The Mars Volta is scheduled for release 38 days from today (I literally counted) on March 27th, 2012. Titled ‘Noctourniquet’, practically most of  the instrumentation materials was actually already recorded in 2009, but ongoing arguments between vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zaval and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López halted the album from being completed for its initial release schedule.

To demonstrate a little taste of what’s to come, the band released the album’s first single “The Malkin Jewel” on February 14th.  Although the song does have quite an impressive eerie carnival-like reggae groove to it, but Cedric’s alternating sizzling croons and  raging snarls is moderately stale compared to his reputational vocal ability, and overall, the song progression is a bit repetitive. Fortunately, Omar’s spasmodic crunchy rhythm and drummer Deantoni Parks’s arcane percussion accommodates the grandeur edge it needs, and for a group like Mars Volta known for their explicit concept approach, one song can’t be used as a measurement of the real direction the band is taking for the album. Especially within this song, after minute 3:00 the song becomes fairly interesting with its psychotropic discord, a distinguished trait of this particular band.

38 days and counting down, we’ll see what ‘Noctourniquet’ is all about.

Zechs Marquise – Getting Paid

Taking its name from one of the most glorified mobil Suit pilot of the popular Japanese anime Gundam Wing, ZECHS MARQUISE is another band from El Paso, Texas that is worthy to be praised as the the new disciples of progressive rock following the footsteps of Mars Volta. Taking roots from the same town is not a coincidence though, because like a family affair, three members of the band – Marcel, Marfred, and Rikardo – share the same bloodline and surname as the prog-rock messiah Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of Mars Volta.

Formed in 2004, Zechs Marquise created a buzz throughout the music scene with their 2009 full album debut  “Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare.” The album was complex, strange, but yet beautiful because of its experimental and psychedelic elements that didn’t depend much on vocal work. After two years of touring and recording new materials, their second full album “Getting Paid” has come forth this year with a far cleaner and engaging recording compared to the first. One glimpse of the album cover will surely give you a good indication of what vibe the album illustrates: funk rock madness with a taste of Latin melody that is progessively enlightening and electrifying. Listening this while driving through streets makes you feel like you’re  prowling through the mean streets of  1970’s Harlem.