Mars Volta - Bedlam In Goliath
The genesis of The Mars Volta's new album The Bedlam in Goliath is a tale of long-buried murder victims and their otherworldly influence, of strife and near collapse, of the long hard fight to push "the record that did not want to be born" out into the world. Omar was in a curio shop in Jerusalem when he found the Soothsayer, an archaic Ouija-style "talking board." Had he known at that moment that the board's history stretched far beyond its novelty appearance, that its very fibers were soaked through with something terribly other, that the choral death and desire of a multi-headed Goliath was waiting behind its gates... well, he might have left it at rest there on the dusty shelves. The Upside of That Choice: No bad mojo unleashed. Erase the madness that followed. Erase the bizarre connection to a love/lust/murder triangle that threatened to spill out into the present every time the band let its fingers drift over the board. The Downside: No Soothsayer means The Bedlam in Goliath never would have existed. And it turns out that this demented spiritual black hole of a muse has driven The Mars Volta to produce a crowning moment in their already stellar career. The band names this Ouija board "The Soothsayer", as it offers them a story: It's always about a man, a woman, and her mother. About the lust floating between them. About seduction and infidelity. And pain. And eventually, murder. Entrails and absence and curses and oblivion. To understand the full story....listen to "The Bedlam in Goliath."
No one has ever accused the Mars Volta of subtlety. But even so, the cyclonic caterwaul of Bedlam in Goliath is the band’s fullest starburst to date. Sure, the songs have titles that seem indecipherable, from "Aberinkula" to "Conjugal Burns." The important thing, though, is the molten, guitar-spiraling, drum-thundering core at the heart of the whole endeavor. "Aberinkula" opens the album with an unfettered explosion of clustered guitars and a dense keyboard haze pierced by Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s coarse, pitched yowl. A scouring soprano sax solo cuts across the songs’s midsection, and that vibe spreads throughout Bedlam, but so does the most pervasive melding of herky-jerk rhythms, post-punk speed, uber-funk bass, and chaotic riffage that you’re likely to find in rock & roll. If it’s Bedlam you want, you can’t miss here. --Andrew Bartlett
- Wax Simulacra
- Tourniquet Man
- Conjugal Burns