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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Se Dice Bisonte, No Bůfalo CD (album) cover


Omar Rodriguez-Lopez


Eclectic Prog

3.85 | 60 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
4 stars This album gave me a lot more than I expected, and its the first album in a long while to do so. I have heard all the Mars Volta albums, excepting Bedlam in Goliath, which seems to be out in other places but not where I am, and this album is a distinctly new taste. I didn't care much for Deloused, I really liked Frances the Mute, and had mixed feelings for Amputechture. Now, seeing as how many Volta members are present on this album, I didn't expect an entirely different sound, but the music surprised me and delighted me. For one thing, the keyboard is actually audible, which almost neever happened on any Volta album, and I really like it. The saxophone is also far more important here, whereas with the Volta, the dual guitar interplay combined with the thundering drums and screaming vocals drowned out these elements. Cedric does sing here, but not on every song, but not every song has vocals, so he sings in all the vocal songs.

The Lukewarm/Luxury of Infancy: The lukewarm is just a few random noises to introduce you to Omar's style, reminiscent of John Frusciante's solo material, of introducing songs with electronic expermentation. The luxury of infancy is a bit of a duet for Frusciante and Omar, with a great melody, and getting a little hectic near the end. Excellent Opener.

Rapid Fire Tollbooth: A bluesy guitar riff bursts in and a sax solos in the background. Cedric's unique voice comes in, but it doesnt sound like the Mars Volta. The drums are nothing special, but heavily pound down the beat to support it all. A sax solo comes in after the first chorus and its greeeat. During the chorus, Cedric starts to hit his signature high notes, but not to excess. Another sax interlude follows the second chorus, but very soon the electric guitar takes the lead. A stunning, heavily distorted solo is what follows, and Omar shows us he enjoys blowing off his chops just as much as the next axe-man. A final chorus brings this song to a close.

Thermometer drinking the Business of Turnstiles: An interlude of sorts, beginning with the leftover spacey sounds from Tollbooth, and adding other synth-induced drones. Soon some high, eerie piano notes enter, as well as a guitar part that sounds like its saying things to you. This all builds, then fades away into nothing as...

Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo: The piano brings us into this masterful song, as well as some soulful crooning from Cedric. A horn section introduces the main theme, and Cedric can be heard, but the effect on his voice is so strong you cannot understand the words. The passion brings you to the edge of your seat, however. As the drums add their flair, Cedric jumps up several octaves. The pure emotion of this song is overwhelming. A bit of a guitar solo bridges the gap to the next part, and Cedric continues to mourn. After a second build up, the horn part slows down, only to blast up again as the guitar takes a true solo and the drums pick up the pace. The piano makes for a great pseudo-rhythm section in the background, and Cedric jumps in again to build the emotion. Overall, the best song I have ever heard come from these guys, under Omar or the Mars Volta.

If Gravity Lulls, I can hear the World Pant: True to the nonsensical name, this song is very strange and experimental. A number of guitars come in to start it, each with a different effect distorting or enhancing it. The melody is simple though, but halfway through it turns to mush, and then the bongos come in. Omar takes another solo, juxtaposing the traditional spanish drums with modern heavy metal guitar for an amazingly unique sound. Then the original sound takes over again, and there is a slight break before the monstrosity that is...

Please Heat this Eventually: Originally a 25 minute EP with Damo Suzuki starring on vocals, the vocals have been removed and the length cut by more than half for the album. It is a hugely varied, sprawling jazz/fusiony jam that takes you to many places, none of them relaxing or audibly beautiful. The odd sounds go on for a minute or so, until the sax and guitar bust in with the massive bongos once again trucking away underneath. The big thing on this song is the hammond organ, which sounds amaaaaaaaaazing. All three instruments seem to be soloing at once, but at the same time, they are keeping the main riff together. Slowly, the melody/riff disintegrates into pure madness, but it is controlled madness. Sax and guitar trade sonic blasts as the main riff slowly fades into view again. This continues for a long while, but never gets boring, as the guitar and sax continue to produce unthinkable phrases and notes. After a while, the sax settles into a simple riff while the guitar reeeeally takes off. its hard to tell how many notes Omar is playing because of the combination of distortion and Low-register notes. At about 8:40, everything but the drums cut out to reveal there actually is a bassist playing! He takes a solo, both lyrical and technical, and it results in the dissolving of the beat and turns into a free form solo, while the guitar solos in the distance. The sound of this bass is monstrous! After a bit, the bass drum finds its groove again, and the bass starts echoing spacily. Now the sax takes a final solo while the bass settles into a funky bass line. This gets increasingly more frenetic as it goes on, and finally everything comes back in with the main riff to finish this insane freakout.

Lurking About in a Cold Sweat (Held together by Venom): A nice electric piano theme introduces us while the bass has some nice underlying work. At key moments, the electric guitar comes in with very strange noises that only add to the eerie atmosphere. The whole intro sounds like its coming out of a telephone. Then the bongos come in and the electric guitar takes a slow, deliberate solo that rends the ears. Throughout this, the song sounds like its skipping and missing pieces, but I take it as a very creative use of silence, something Robert Fripp developed. The song seems to be cut off at the end, and it jumps right into the funky jazziness of...

Boiling Death Request a Body to Rest its head on: The percussion section is very spanish, as is the lead guitar and bassline. When the sax takes the lead, however, it is so angular it cannot be placed into any category. It sounds much like David Jackson of VDGG. The guitar takes the lead again, giving me notes and themes I could never possibly think up if I had 10 years of solely playing guitar. Now the guitar becomes as angular as the sax, and no longer has any idea of a key that it is soloing in. The song ends with some weird voices, and jumps right into...

La Tirania de la Tradicion: A blasting, kick-start drum beat throws you right into the chaos of this song, with heavy guitar and weird noises, as well as some more unintelligeble Cedric singing. The keyboard in the background carries the main theme, while the guitar cannot make up its mind as to which riff it should stick to. Then out of nowhere, the heavy riffing gets even more intense, sounding like Dream Theater, and then switching into something so strange its hard to say if its music or not. The guitar is riffing, but covered by such a myriad of sounds and effects its hard to hear the notes themselves. The song cuts off abruptly, leaving the listener wanting more.

Overall, I think Omar does much better under his own name than under the Mars Volta, and I think they should continue in this style, seeing as how the Mars Volta seem to be on a downward trend, although I cannot say that for sure as I have yet to listen to the Bedlam in Goliath.

The Ace Face | 4/5 |


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