Though not a huge departure from anything they’ve released previously, The Mars Volta’s new record, their fifth full-length, is a pinnacle release in terms of the struggle that Cedric and co have experienced trying to meet the hype and success of their debut ‘De-Loused In The Comatorium’. Sticking to the proggy rock of which they know best, ‘Octahedron’ is a catchy beast of a record, tracks standing out from the moment you hear them (maybe with the exception of opener ‘Since We’ve Been Wrong’ which starts with several seconds of silence). There’s no ‘Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)’ this time around but there is ‘Cotopaxi’, a prog-rock stomper with more twists and turns than a Milton Keynes roundabout. Other highlights include ‘Teflon’ and ‘Desperate Graves’, both equally ear-punishing and mind-boggling, while the wouldn’t-be-out-of-place-on-a-Muse-record closer ‘Luciforms’ brings the pace back down. Though not as career-refining as their 03 debut, ‘Octahedron’ is certainly stronger than their previous two efforts, perhaps on a par with ‘Frances The Mute’, but how much longer can a band with two members who claimed their previous outfit confined them too much continue to release such similar prog-rock records? All we can do is wait, see and enjoy for now.
For fans of: At The Drive-In, ‘Old Money’