Prog-rock has always had a coolness problem. For every killer lick like Rush’s ”Tom Sawyer,” there are countless bits of solo wankery and unnecessary rhythmic shifts. The Mars Volta recognize this, which is why 2009’s Octahedron found them sanding down some of their rougher edges in favor of smoother songcraft. Their newest includes surprisingly sweet harmonies (”Lapochka”) and dynamic choruses (”Dyslexicon”). But that’s not to say they’ve gone pop — Noctourniquet still packs enough sonic buzz saws to liquefy an ox. B+
SOUNDS OF MARS Even though they meld a bit of pop into their rock sound, The Mars Volta still delivers rough rhythms into their signature style (Eliot Lee Hazel)
Genre: Rock; Music Label: Warner Bros.
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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