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OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ

Eclectic Prog • Puerto Rico


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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez picture
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez biography
Omar Alfredo Rodriguez-Lopez - Born September 1, 1975 (Bayamón, Puerto Rico)

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ is the guitarist and producer of the influential prog band THE MARS VOLTA. He grew up in El Paso, Texas, but spent some of his childhood in South Carolina. His music career started at 15 years of age, when he became the singer for the El Paso hardcore band, Startled Calf, from 1990 to 1992. During this time he met CEDRIC BIXLER-ZAVALA, with whom he has been living and working ever since. At the age of 17, RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ left El Paso to hitchhike around the country for a year in the early 90's With the help of Bixler-Zavala, he went back to El Paso, where he began fighting his drug addiction. They then joined hardcore band AT THE DRIVE-IN as backup vocalist and bass guitarist. After signing a record deal with Flipside Records and recording "Acrobatic Tenement" with the band, he became their full-time bassist before switching to guitar. After several years, a combination of excessive hype, relentless touring, artistic differences, and the two friends' drug habits eventually caused the band's demise.

In 2001 RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ and Bixler-Zavala left AT THE DRIVE-IN, and the band went on "indefinite hiatus". Eventually they formed the band with whom they would reach international success, THE MARS VOLTA. During the early years of the band, RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ also worked on a low budget movie called "A Manual Dexterity", starring their bandmate and friend Jeremy Ward, whose soundtrack, "A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume 1", was released in 2004.
In 2005 RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ relocated to Amsterdam, where he eventually wrote and recorded four separate albums.

His first solo project was the OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ QUINTET, with which he played several live shows in Europe; in 2005 it also included three members of THE MARS VOLTA (JUAN ALDERETE, his brother MARCEL RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ and ADRIAN TERRAZAS-GONZALES). The songs featured on this tour later appeared on the album "Omar Rodriguez". It was characterized by long, improvisational songs with Dutch titles and no lyrics. The Quintet also performed live with DAMO SUZUKI, parts of which were recorded and incorporated into a 25-minute EP titled "Please Heat This Eventually", which was released in 2007. On May 29, 2007, "Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo", written and recorded in California and Amsterdam during the two previous years, was released. It ...
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OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 34 ratings
A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One
2004
3.43 | 33 ratings
Omar Rodriguez
2005
3.87 | 65 ratings
Se Dice Bisonte, No Bůfalo
2007
4.21 | 103 ratings
The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange
2007
2.93 | 34 ratings
Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far)
2008
1.54 | 22 ratings
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Jeremy Michael Ward
2008
3.55 | 27 ratings
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fungus
2008
2.50 | 20 ratings
Minor Cuts and Scrapes in the Bushes Ahead
2008
3.81 | 54 ratings
Old Money
2008
3.59 | 43 ratings
Solar Gambling
2009
1.81 | 25 ratings
Despair
2009
3.15 | 29 ratings
Megaritual
2009
3.20 | 45 ratings
El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Cryptomnesia
2009
3.66 | 47 ratings
Los Sueos De Un Higado
2009
3.95 | 65 ratings
Xenophanes
2009
2.90 | 35 ratings
El Trio de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Ciencia de los Inutiles
2010
3.50 | 35 ratings
Sepulcros De Miel
2010
2.48 | 25 ratings
Tychozorente
2010
3.59 | 26 ratings
Cizaña De Los Amores
2010
3.18 | 23 ratings
Mantra Hiroshima
2010
3.45 | 23 ratings
Un Escorpión Perfumado
2010
2.26 | 14 ratings
Un Corazon de Nadie
2012
2.71 | 17 ratings
Saber, Querer, Osar y Callar
2012
2.48 | 14 ratings
Octopus Kool Aid
2012
2.27 | 11 ratings
Equinox
2013
3.06 | 14 ratings
Woman Gives Birth to Tomato!
2013
2.86 | 13 ratings
Unicorn Skeleton Mask
2013
2.05 | 12 ratings
¿Sólo Extraño?
2013
3.65 | 12 ratings
Sworn Virgins
2016
3.60 | 10 ratings
Corazones
2016
3.84 | 13 ratings
Blind Worms, Pious Swine
2016
3.13 | 8 ratings
Arañas en La Sombra
2016
3.33 | 6 ratings
Umbrella Mistress
2016
2.75 | 4 ratings
El Bien y Mal Nos Une
2016
2.00 | 5 ratings
Cell Phone Bikini
2016
1.33 | 6 ratings
Infinity Drips
2016
2.83 | 6 ratings
Weekly Mansions
2016
3.17 | 6 ratings
Zapopan
2016
2.00 | 3 ratings
Nom de Guerre Cabal
2016
3.25 | 4 ratings
Some Need It Lonely
2016
3.17 | 6 ratings
A Lovejoy
2016
2.50 | 6 ratings
Roman Lips
2017
2.50 | 6 ratings
Zen Thrills
2017
2.00 | 5 ratings
Chocolate Tumor Hormone Parade
2017
2.40 | 5 ratings
Ensayo de un Desaparecido
2017
2.20 | 5 ratings
Azul, Mis Dientes
2017
2.60 | 5 ratings
Gorilla Preacher Cartel
2017
2.20 | 5 ratings
Killing Tingled Lifting Retreats
2017
2.60 | 5 ratings
Solid State Mercenaries
2017
3.17 | 6 ratings
Birth of a Ghost
2017
2.20 | 5 ratings
Doom Patrol
2017

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.56 | 16 ratings
どういたしまして
2010

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 10 ratings
Telestrion
2011

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 20 ratings
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Damo Suzuki - Please Heat This Eventually
2007
2.62 | 18 ratings
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Lydia Lunch
2007
4.33 | 3 ratings
Maida Vale Session
2009
2.65 | 27 ratings
Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante
2010

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 El Trio de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Ciencia de los Inutiles by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.90 | 35 ratings

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El Trio de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Ciencia de los Inutiles
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars And right after seeing ORL fine tune a particular aesthetic to a much more well-realised and iterated upon state than usual, we immediately get thrown directly back into another huge shift in style, though in this case it's likely that it comes down to the fact that he didn't play as big a role in writing as usual. This feels much closer to a Ximena Sariñana with Omar providing an additional bit of his own spin on things, rather than the inverse that was occurring in the past. That said, despite the fact that a collection of subdued folk songs are a far cry from anything else he'd crafted up to this point, it's not really a bad thing either, with a lot of these songs at the very least having a very strong sense of melody that does a lot even with a very minimalistic sound. I also think it's further heightened by those moments where you can really sense that he's putting that bit more of a spin on things, with these ethereal, acoustic songs slowly descending into more psychedelic, intense territory without ever fully compromising its aesthetic, making it contribute to a surreal atmosphere as opposed to simply distracting from what's trying to be achieved. It can be a bit overly repetitive and unchanging at certain points, but even so, this is another pretty neat album that's 100% worth a listen at least once.
 Solar Gambling by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.59 | 43 ratings

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Solar Gambling
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars At this point in ORL's discography there's definitely a sense of iteration in his work opposed to the more drastic shifts in mood and style that were a prominent aspect to his approach just a couple of years further back, instead taking an idea and running with it over the course of multiple works, slowly improving and refining it until we get Solar Gambling, which feels like the peak of it. The big difference with the take on the colourful, psychedelic Latin rock shown here compared to the previous attempts is the way that it blends in a few more pop and art rock sensibilities into the fray, having longer stretches dedicated to really exploring the more melodic aspects of his sound, once again amplified by the inclusion of Ximena's vocals. While not quite as surreal nor intense as a lot of his other stuff, I'd also say that this is one of his strongest displays of songwriting up to this point, feeling as if there's just not a moment wasted, with even the more experimental, droney cuts here adding to the experience as a whole rather than acting as weird little diversions. One of his best solo albums that also proved that Omar wasn't just building his appeal and approach off a sense of spontaneity , but that he was also extremely capable of crafting something great simply from refining what was already there.
 Xenophanes by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.95 | 65 ratings

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Xenophanes
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It's rather interesting seeing way ORL's discography is always in flux between pushing the envelope of his sound and then falling back onto the basics, which in his case are these colourful, psychedelic jams that lean pretty heavily into the sound of latin rock. This undoubtedly falls a bit closer to the latter, feeling rather safe in a lot of regards, and yet, Xenophanes still ends up being one of Omar's better albums both for the way that it both plays this style pretty damn well, but then also adds this extra dimension to it all with the lovely, passionate vocals of Ximena Sariñana. Unlike her previous appearance being essentially singing over less intense versions of pre- existing Omar songs, her role on Xenophanes feels far fresher, as the songs feel as if they've been composed with her contributions in mind, rather than a bit haphazardly altered just to fit them in somewhere. This alone is enough to take this album up a peg or two, which is good since outside of that there isn't really anything separating this album from quite a few of his others, it's just his typical style but very well played, but with a bit extra, and sometimes that's all you need, especially when your typical style is as awesome as it is here. Could honestly make a case for this being one of the best entry points into his discography on the whole, especially if you're already a Mars Volta fan.
 Los Sueos De Un Higado by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.66 | 47 ratings

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Los Sueos De Un Higado
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Los sueños de un higado ends up being an ORL album that stands out for a couple of reasons, not only being a series of live performances, but also being the first time Omar made an album that was heavily based around the vocals of someone other than Cedric. It ends up making for an experience that right out of the gate feels rather different, made further apparent by the overall cleaner sound present here, with all the tones of the instruments sounding rather similar, but just a bit more "pleasant" for lack of a better word. While at first this may seem like a totally pointless listen, with the tracks being the same jazzy jams as certain other previous works by Omar, the vocal performances of Ximena Sarian do a decent job at breathing new life into these tracks with her wonderful, passionate delivery throughout. Even with that fact proving yet again that he's able to reinvent old tracks time and time again in a variety of novel ways (in this case adding those vocals), I still couldn't really recommend this above a lot of Omar's other albums for the simple reason that while all of this is performed very competently and the vocals are wonderful, the album doesn't really go above and beyond that, it's merely good, it's safe, it's just not a good showcase of a lot of the unfiltered creativity that makes me love so much of ORL's work. Worth a listen if you're a big fan, but otherwise I'd suggest listening to quite a few other albums first.
 El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Cryptomnesia by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.20 | 45 ratings

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El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Cryptomnesia
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars While I appreciate the relentlessly prolific nature of Omar Rodriguez Lopez during his solo career, essentially setting himself up as an artist who just loved to make music and release a ton of it to the world, I cannot deny that it led to a few points in his discography where there were just stretches of mediocrity and unsuccessful experiments. With that said, stuff like Cryptomnesia is what makes those less engaging parts feel all the more worth it, because this is such a bold, exciting album that feels so much more insane than most other things I've heard. Not only have you got the main duo of The Mars Volta, with Cedric being the vocalist here, but you've also got the relentless drumming talents of Zach Hill on top of it all to provide a far more frantic, chaotic energy than even anything Bedlam in Goliath could muster, turning the brutal prog influence of that album into the entire approach and aesthetic surrounding this one. Each song is essentially composed of noisy, bizarre guitar melodies with a wall of abrasive, brickwalled synths and impenetrable drum fills, with some vocals being buried within the mix, occasionally taking centre stage for those moments that want to further solidify the passionate performances on display and even somehow manage to be really fun and catchy on occasion. While it's definitely not a style that everyone can get behind, especially when all the most extreme elements of the genre come into play, feeling closer to a wall of incomprehensible noise as opposed to anything a bit more digestible and coherent, I personally adore it in general and think that Omar's take on the style is admirable with how far he's willing to go with it.

The way the tracklisting plays out here is also really neat, with Tuberculoids immediately setting a precedent by not even having a vocal melody that sticks anywhere close to the rest of the instrumentation most of the time. It feels surreal and disorienting, but works perfectly for being this instant wake up call about this album being A LOT. Following this up with Half Kleptos and the title track is also a very cool idea, bringing in a slightly more accessible take on the genre, especially with the really fun, groovy rhythms of Half Kleptos, before thrusting the listener into the deep end with the unmatched bombardment of intensity with the last few minutes of the title track. Past this point the album completely loses the plot, songs blending together in a mad flurry of drum bashes and whirring sounds with little to no differentiation from one track to the next, just the pure essence of the most uncompromising stuff that Omar has dabbled in for a solid 15 minutes, making the silence to follow this feel deafeningly quiet. Definitely not an album for everyone, but if you like your music to be absolutely off the wall and relentless, then you need to listen to this.

Best tracks: Half Kleptos, Cryptomnesia, Warren Oates

 Megaritual by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.15 | 29 ratings

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Megaritual
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Megaritual is a pretty interesting album for the way it seems to embody both some of Omar's most subdued and erratic sensibilities in the one place, being this bizarre, spacey jam session grounded by groovy Latin rhythms and sections dedicated to his signature frenetic playing style. Despite this, there's not really too much that separates Megaritual as a particularly essential or unique ORL album due to the fact that its identity feels as if it hinges on elements of his previous works without trying to bring a new or even refined take on any of it, with even the way it blends the 2 extremes of his material feeling a bit slapdash. This isn't a bad album by any means, it's got some neat textural stuff going on with its tamer moments and tracks like Screaming Babies Inside Out really represent the way that even some of the less essential Omar albums have a few songs with some killer rhythmic elements to them. Overall the sort of album that feels only really worth listening to if you're already a big fan of Omar Rodriguez Lopez, it's good but really, there are just better albums of his that you could be listening to instead.

Best tracks: Screaming Babies Inside Out, Dead Hisses to Match Our Own

 Despair by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2009
1.81 | 25 ratings

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Despair
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Another noise based album from ORL and this one is definitely more palatable to me than his collaboration with Jeremy Michael Ward, even if I still don't think that his attempts at noise are that engaging. The main reason for this is the approach taken with Despair feels far more focus on crafting atmosphere rather than the more abstract sensibilities demonstrated with Jeremy Michael Ward. The dark, ominous atmosphere this has ends up making it a more tolerable listen to be put in the background and one that feels considerably more focused and cohesive as a whole experience with less instances of these disruptive eruptions of feedback that do nothing but kill what little flow there is. I definitely think there's something to this album, as there are moments of genuinely compelling atmosphere throughout, but on the whole this is just way too meandering to justify its length and is another noise experiment that doesn't fully pan out.
 Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fungus by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.55 | 27 ratings

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fungus
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars After a few albums of ORL getting into the more abstract territory with his music it's honestly pretty nice for him to put out a more straightforward listening experience, especially one as good and distinctive as this one. The more stripped back, focused sound presented here goes a long way as well, with a more psychedelic edge without often delving into the completely experimental, bizarre territory, instead focusing far stronger on some great rhythms and melodies with the soundscapes taking a bit of a backseat in favour of this more accessible and fun jamming. Despite all this talk about simplicity and taking a step back, I also cannot say that this is devoid of its more complex and wildly creative moments as well, whether it's through these longer tracks that are able to tell a bit or a story with its ebb and flow, having these long stretches of atmosphere broken up by intense flurries of intensity, something that's especially notable on the 11 minute Tied Prom Digs on the Docks. Some of the tracks focused very tightly on specific ideas are great as well, especially Mood Swings, which embodies its title to the fullest extent, being a disorienting ride through so many different tones and atmospheres that it's insane. Overall this is just a very, very solid album that reins in some of the more aimlessly experimental tendencies of Omar and is an amazing palette cleanser after the consistent strangeness of the past few albums, all while being a great time in its own right.

Best tracks: Sex, Consolation for Misery, Tied Prom Digs on the Docks, Mood Swings

 Minor Cuts and Scrapes in the Bushes Ahead by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.50 | 20 ratings

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Minor Cuts and Scrapes in the Bushes Ahead
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Honestly this is the first time I feel like there's not a whole lot to say about one of Omar Rodriguez Lopez's releases , even though he's made some far weaker material. I think the main reason for this is that it has a lot of common ground with a couple of his previous works but not quite as interesting. It's got the aggressive pursuit of surreal atmosphere and eclecticism that Manual Dexterity focused so strongly on, yet this one doesn't quite have the same level of atmosphere, just the weirdness. At the same time, I feel like this could also be compared to Calibration with its more abstract approach to songwriting that takes a few listens for it to truly click, yet it doesn't really have that same level of focus or anything that feels all too emotionally resonant or anything of the sort. Minor Cuts and Scrapes in the Bushes Ahead sounds a bit like a compilation of a fair few of Omar's previous ideas but not as good as on those counterparts, and while you have a few amazing things here and there such as with the bassline on Pawn Shop Blues, this album still doesn't really feel at all essential on any level. I'd recommend it if you really enjoy Omar's other work and feel the need to listen to even more of that, because it's perfectly serviceable stuff, but don't lose any sleep over the potential of missing much if you decide to skip this one either.

Best tracks: Trident Resting on the Pulse, Pawn Shop Blues

 Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Jeremy Michael Ward by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
1.54 | 22 ratings

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Jeremy Michael Ward
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

1 stars Despite the poor reception I've seen this album get from all over the place, I was still looking forward to it nonetheless since Omar Rodriguez Lopez trying his hand properly at noise music seemed like a pretty interesting idea, and I also knew that people tend to absolutely hate this sort of stuff when it comes from a musician not mainly known for such music, so there were a lot of elements going into this that I was extremely interested in. Unfortunately in this case I can't really say that I enjoyed this anyway and that it is really, really boring noise from my perspective. I think a big part of this reason is that a lot of this stuff doesn't feel as if it fully makes use of this more abstract genre and instead has noise that more closely resembles some of the strange noise sections within individual Mars Volta songs rather than something that truly can stand out on its own. While I understand that this was recorded before Deloused and all that, but it still doesn't change the fact that even removed from the context of anything else ORL has touched, this is still just something that does not stand up on its own at all, without anything too interesting from a textural or atmospheric perspective going on, just a lot of boring noise. I certainly don't inherently dislike this type of music, but in this case I really cannot recommend this or enjoy it all that much.
Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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