The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath (no puns at all. sorry)

May 26, 2008 at 1:17 pm (Reviews) (, )

Ah so, The Mars Volta, and band that splits opinions in a way that At the Drive In (Cedric and Omars previous band) generally managed to unite. On the one hand, people love their mad guitar skillz, overblown music and, especially, their big, big hair- on the other hand, people hate their overblown concept albums, the prog/jazz/free funk (i think i might have just made this up) ideas they have incorporated into their music, and just want them to sound like atdil… (and probably feel that they sound like they do because, apparently, the humungous amount of drugs they have done over the last few years) (though are they clean nowadays? I DONT KNOW)

Soo, ooh, who is right? Well, i think you will find you have come to the right place to answer these questions, AND MORE. And its certainly not just an opinion nor nothing. To start with, i like ATDI, but i didnt really listen to them at the time, and only bought relationship of command a couple of years ago from Virgin for a mere four pounds and ninety nine pence, so I dont have some huge stiffy for these guys that refuses to go away (indeed, this is concept that annoys me. Wow, i liked a band you used to be in, therefore im going to like your new band. this might be true, but i dont really think that it blinds people to the actual quality of the music. people arent that dumb. are they. dont answer that). Secondly, i like the mars volta! Yoinks! Im in that group of people that like their prog rock fusion, that they are pushing the boundaries of music in a good way…. though i remember being severly unimpressed by their last album (amputechre) when it came out, and almost writing them off, even though i had thoroughly enjoyed frances the mute. But when i heard they had a new album out…i returned to amputechre, and found actuallly it was a darn tooting good album.

So, what does this all mean for The Bedlam in Goliath? Well, the first thing that you notice is, actually, that its really REALLY LOUD. Bejesus is it loud. Hey, i was listening to amputechre while walking into work today (dont look quite so surprised, im good at pretending to be able to read and write…) and was waiting for some real rock action to kick in, and waited, and waited, then it did. And of course, i only got through about 2 songs during my walk, because all the tracks are so bleeding long. However, with Goliath you just get noise, immediately. wow. And er, it doesnt stop. You get about 74 minutes of constant, loud music. Now, im not one to turn down loud music (im still deafened by a Merzbow gig) but for this album, its opening track Abernikula, set the tone for the rest of the album. I I like to have some variety in my music (what with variety being the spice of life and all that) and enjoyed the quiet, loud bits that they had utilised in previous albums. This album however, is just loud loud. loud.

I found that during each of the last 3 or 4 tracks i found myself thinking, ah this must be the end, but then just getting another track. then another one. And i like long albums too (saves energy to get up and change cds). Im impressed they had the energy to keep going, but at the same time, editing. Though, editing has never been their strong point i suppose.


So, go buy frances the mute, or deloused in the crematorium, and maybe even amputechre. But I dont really think ill be returning to Bedlam very often really…


1 Comment

  1. Simon said,


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