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The Mars Volta - Tremulant EP CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.25 | 109 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Tremulant EP' - The Mars Volta (5/10)

With every journey comes a first step, and in the case of The Mars Volta, their first step was among their most profound. The prequel to their classic 'De-Loused In The Comatorium,' this EP has a very similar feeling to their debut LP. None of these songs would sound out of placed on 'De-Loused.' Although there are only three songs to be found here, they are all great in their own way, and the centrepiece of the work, 'Concertina' is a true TMV classic. This is arguably The Mars Volta's 3rd best CD, after the aforementioned debut and it's sucessor 'Frances The Mute.' Seeing as this short album is rather short, it's probably best to tackle it by the song.

'Tremulant's opener, 'Cut This City' begins with a rather boring, but somewhat trippy two minute introduction, which primarily consists of atmospheric effects. I suppose it helps to make the album longer, and it really gives you a startle when the song really begins. When the guitars and other instruments kick in, there's a real shock to the system, and a really great energy. The vocals on this song are indiscernable yet beautiful in their own strange way... The keyboard really blends in well with the energetic guitar work. Despite the fact that this song is great, it's actually my least favourite on the EP. There's only better music to come.

'Concertina,' as I have mentioned before, is the album's true great cut. It's the song everyone loves, and for good reason! There's so much emotion in it, and there's even some Xylophone etched in there as well. In terms of song structure, it's rather conventional, but the way it's produced is very psychedelic sounding. The vocals are without a doubt the best on the album. Every Mars Volta fan should have a listen to this song. It's one of the most sentimental songs The Mars Volta has ever written.

And lastly comes 'Eunich Provocateur.' It took me a few spins to get into, but now I can see why it's so popular with Prog fans. It's the most experimental song on the EP, and although I still don't listen to it as much as the more conventional songs, it's really tightly composed. The last two minutes are reminiscent of the album's intro, giving 'Tremulant' a feeling of cohesion. Great stuff.

On a final note, the production quality is suprisingly fantastic! It's not often a band's inaugural release has such pristine sound quality. It helps make this the great EP it is. Every true Mars Volta fan should have this EP in their collection. Excellent.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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