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OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ

Eclectic Prog • Puerto Rico


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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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XenophanesXenophanes
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Sepulcros De MielSepulcros De Miel
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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)

3.71 | 31 ratings
A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One
2004
3.59 | 30 ratings
Omar Rodriguez
2005
3.84 | 57 ratings
Se Dice Bisonte, No Bůfalo
2007
4.15 | 95 ratings
The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange
2007
2.75 | 29 ratings
Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far)
2008
1.78 | 17 ratings
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Jeremy Michael Ward
2008
3.41 | 23 ratings
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fungus
2008
2.26 | 15 ratings
Minor Cuts and Scrapes in the Bushes Ahead
2008
3.79 | 45 ratings
Old Money
2008
3.46 | 38 ratings
Solar Gambling
2009
1.73 | 21 ratings
Despair
2009
3.18 | 25 ratings
Megaritual
2009
3.02 | 41 ratings
El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Cryptomnesia
2009
3.82 | 44 ratings
Los Sueos De Un Higado
2009
3.94 | 60 ratings
Xenophanes
2009
2.84 | 30 ratings
El Trio de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Ciencia de los Inutiles
2010
3.52 | 33 ratings
Sepulcros De Miel
2010
2.53 | 23 ratings
Tychozorente
2010
3.57 | 22 ratings
Cizaña De Los Amores
2010
3.16 | 19 ratings
Mantra Hiroshima
2010
3.50 | 21 ratings
Un Escorpión Perfumado
2010
2.32 | 13 ratings
Un Corazon de Nadie
2012
2.85 | 15 ratings
Saber, Querer, Osar y Callar
2012
2.62 | 12 ratings
Octopus Kool Aid
2012
2.25 | 8 ratings
Equinox
2013
3.17 | 12 ratings
Woman Gives Birth To Tomato!
2013
3.00 | 11 ratings
Unicorn Skeleton Mask
2013
2.21 | 10 ratings
¿Sólo Extraño?
2013
3.38 | 8 ratings
Sworn Virgins
2016
3.43 | 7 ratings
Corazones
2016
3.83 | 10 ratings
Blind Worms, Pious Swine
2016
2.67 | 6 ratings
Arañas en La Sombra
2016
2.75 | 4 ratings
Umbrella Mistress
2016
2.50 | 2 ratings
El Bien y Mal Nos Une
2016
1.67 | 3 ratings
Cell Phone Bikini
2016
1.80 | 5 ratings
Infinity Drips
2016
2.80 | 5 ratings
Weekly Mansions
2016
3.50 | 4 ratings
Zapopan
2016
3.00 | 2 ratings
Nom de Guerre Cabal
2016
3.33 | 3 ratings
Some Need It Lonely
2016
3.40 | 5 ratings
A Lovejoy
2016
2.60 | 5 ratings
Roman Lips
2017
2.60 | 5 ratings
Zen Thrills
2017
2.60 | 5 ratings
Chocolate Tumor Hormone Parade
2017
2.25 | 4 ratings
Ensayo de un Desaparecido
2017
2.25 | 4 ratings
Azul, Mis Dientes
2017
2.25 | 4 ratings
Gorilla Preacher Cartel
2017
2.25 | 4 ratings
Killing Tingled Lifting Retreats
2017
2.50 | 4 ratings
Solid State Mercenaries
2017
2.75 | 4 ratings
Birth of a Ghost
2017
2.75 | 4 ratings
Doom Patrol
2017

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

4.53 | 15 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)

3.78 | 9 ratings
Telestrion
2011

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

2.98 | 17 ratings
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Damo Suzuki - Please Heat This Eventually
2007
2.87 | 14 ratings
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Lydia Lunch
2007
4.33 | 3 ratings
Maida Vale Session
2009
2.68 | 25 ratings
Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante
2010

OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Old Money by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.79 | 45 ratings

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Old Money
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid

4 stars Being a massive fan of the Mars Volta, I've wanted to look into Omar Rodriguez Lopez's solo career for quite a while, but became slightly daunted upon the realisation that his studio discography was one of the most absurdly large ones I was aware of, only surpassed by 'Buckethead' (Note: That I am aware of). After much deliberation about where to begin, I decided to pick from his higher rated works at random, and fell upon his 9th effort, 'Old Money'. This album was apparently written to follow up 'Amputechture', which is quite clear in terms of the very strong resemblance to 'The Mars Volta' heard throughout the majority of the tracks. This to me sounds like an instrumental, more jam focused take on 'The Mars Volta', with more experimentation in the area of soundscapes and atmosphere, having more moments that become extremely chaotic, along with songs that progress very minimally, instead made to capture a particular tone or mood. This is essentially the 'Mars Volta' without Omar being tied down to the notion that his music needs to be liked by a slightly wider audience, in turn allowing for some great creative freedom.

The album starts off very strong with 'The Power of Myth', which if I'm being honest, I actually like more than a large number of Volta songs. The drumming throughout is incredible, with great fill after great fill, being able to so easily slip into brief bursts of energy before falling back onto the beat, constantly keeping time along with energy. This is further made better by the amazing riff that switches from guitar to bass throughout, and is all around a great track. 'Population Council's Wet Dream' is the next notable track, being quite chaotic, yet having the beat constantly return to a triple cymbal crash or bass drum hit on the 4th bar, providing the listener with something to be able to latch onto. Because of this, no matter how chaotic the song becomes, it never becomes too chaotic, as the improvisation of the other instruments is still closely linked to this motif. This allows things to go really far off the rails without it sounding dull or unbearable, as there is always something the listener can pick out, and this interesting little thing makes it one of my favourite songs on the album, along with the overall great groove that the song has. 'Family War Funding (Love Those Rothschilds)' is a faster paced song with a really great climax that makes the fact that the rest of the song is slightly subpar quite tolerable. 'I Like Rockefeller's First Two Albums, But After That...' is a really great track with the kind of danceable groove that could be found on 'Bedlam in Goliath'. Combine this with the stronger Spanish music influence that the band and Omar are known to have, complete with samples of a conversation, spoken in Spanish, further accentuating this identity. 'Old Money' is by far the highlight of this album, having extremely strong melody combined with guitar playing even more excellent than usual with Omar. The fact that it has those slower, spacier sections flesh this song out quite a lot, making it feel like an actual song, rather than an experimental noodling session, and in general sound amazing.

Speaking of experimental noodling session, those aren't necessarily a bad thing, as can be seen in the songs not talked about yet. 'How To Bill The Bilderberg Group', 'Private Fortunes', 'Trilateral Commission as Dinner Guests' and 'Vipers in the Bosom' all fit this description very well, but are mostly worthy compositions. 'How To Bill the Bilderberg Group' isn't anything particularly special, but I do like the eerie tone created by the heavily edited voices and heavy use of various effects, and find it to be interesting, even if not necessarily anything great. 'Private Fortunes' utilises world music instruments and has a much calmer tone to it when put up against the rest of the album, focusing on the really pleasant atmosphere set up, with even the impressive soloing sounding much nicer than usual. 'Trilateral Commission As Dinner Guests' has a structure similar to that of 'CAN', having a simple, repetitive groove or melody, and then simply jamming over it for a few minutes. The big difference here is that this is infinitely more bombastic than anything 'CAN' has done, although it doesn't have the same sort of feeling as 'CAN' does, as you don't feel like the songs could simply go on forever, and is definitely inferior to quite a bit of their work.

There are definitely a couple of weaker aspects to the album, the biggest being the filler tracks of '1921' and 'Vipers in the Bosom', both going basically nowhere and serving no real purpose, ultimately taking me out of the experience briefly. My other issue is that I feel like a few of these songs could have been developed a bit further, as some of them, while sounding good, are kinda underbaked when compared to the amazing heights this album reaches, although if taking away the perspective of this album, just focusing on the tracks themselves, they prove to be quite interesting and good, it's just that it can make the album feel slightly inconsistent at points.

Despite having no vocals and getting somewhat inconsistent in the middle section, this album is genuinely great, being better than both 'Octahedron' and Noctourniquet' in my opinion. While it took me much longer to get into this, due to the stranger qualities of the album, and also because I'm usually not an avid listener of purely instrumental music, I definitely find many songs on this to be of extremely high quality, and have been convinced to look through some more of Omar's gargantuan discography at some point as a result.

Best Songs: The Power Of Myth, Population Council's Wet Dream, Old Money

Weakest Songs: 1921, Vipers In The Bosom, How To Bill The Bilderberg Group

Verdict: More out there than most Mars Volta releases, but definitely has strong resemblances in terms of sound. I'd recommend this to any fan of Amputechture or with the Mars Volta in general, but would definitely recommend you check them out before delving into this one, unless the vocals were your issue with the band.

 The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.15 | 95 ratings

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The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An outstanding solo album from THE MARS VOLTA guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez. Released in 2007 this was his fourth studio album at the time, I was shocked to see he's released 50 some studio albums now. His brother plays drums on this instrumental album, well all instrumental except for some male vocals almost spoken on one track. We get sax, clarinet, bass and a variety of keyboards including plenty of clavinet and synths.

"Melting Chariots" opens with some great sounding bass as clavinet, drums and horns join in quickly. It settles with intricate guitar, bass and drums 2 minutes in then the clavinet returns along with that earlier sound. "Knee Deep In The Loving Hush Of Heresy" opens with an all out assault but it settles quickly. Nice guitar 2 minutes in as it turns experimental. Some crazy outbursts after 3 minutes then back to horns and that experimental sound. It kicks in again after 4 minutes.

"Jacob Van Lennepkade II" is an 18 1/2 minute tour de force. Or maybe trippy force would be more accurate. Active drumming with horns over top to start out. It's kind of melancholic with the horn bringing NUCLEUS to mind. Some ripping guitar takes over for the horn after a minute. He is lighting it up until just after 4 1/2 minutes as the horn returns. Synths will lead for a while as the active drumming continues. Check out the clavinet then the horn leads after 8 1/2 minutes but they both will light it up here for some time. The horn is dissonant 13 minutes in but it's brief as the guitar returns shredding. An impressive section.

"Fuerza De Laboracion" begins with synths I believe as other sounds join in. It calms right down and it's dark and experimental as well. Nice. Percussion around a minute as guitar and clavinet join in. Male processed vocals follow pretty much spoken until 3 1/2 minutes in and it's avant right to the end from here. "Sparked From The Insult List" is brighter and quite catchy. Horns before a minute and synths follow. Some intensity after 1 1/2 minutes then a calm with flute, bass and a beat after 2 minutes. The guitar starts to solo slowly a minute later. A Latin vibe to this one.

Baby Fat" opens with atmosphere as guitars and beats join in. It's kind of cool and I like when it kicks in hard before 2 minutes to the end. "The Apocalypse Inside Of An Orange" is one of my favourites. More of a soundscape of atmosphere and spacey sounds. Experimental too. A lone horn cries out of the atmosphere after 2 minutes and continues for some time. It's haunting 7 1/2 minutes in. "Coma Pony" has a catchy beat with piano as guitar comes in over top. Such a relaxing guitar solo. Love this. A horn takes over before 3 minutes and I really like that base of drums and bass.

A very solid 4 stars for this adventurous album.

 Blind Worms, Pious Swine by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.83 | 10 ratings

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Blind Worms, Pious Swine
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Normally I start off album reviews by saying this is the 1st or 2nd album by so and so. With Omar Rodriguez - Lopez I am actually in disbelief the amount of records he has released as a solo artist. Never mind what he has done with his various other bands - Mars Volta, At the drive-in etc. "Blind Worms Pious Swine" is the 29th ALBUM by Omar! This was released in 2016 and he has released 20 more albums since then! Although its clear he is a very busy man, some of these albums were stock piled as they were recorded between 2008 and 2013. But even still he is a total machine.

I did keep on top of his releases in the early days but found myself going off him a bit. And then when he announced in 2016 he was releasing 11 albums which were to be released every fortnight I just could not keep up. I thought this was just too much and wanted to listen to more than just one artist. But what made me come back now? Well I was listening to Mars Volta on Spotify, then after the album finishes it goes into similar tracks which they think you'll like. A track called "Lights" off of "Blind Worms Pious Swine" came on and I absolutely loved it. Interestingly this is a cover of the Ellie Goulding song and is the only cover of a song ever to feature on an Omar album.

As you would imagine with a solo album, Omar takes control of most things, such as guitars, synth, bass and some of the vocals. But also featuring on this album is Deantoni Parks on drums. And also Teri Gender Bender on main vocals from Les Butcherettes. The first 7 tracks on this album do have do vary from song to song and it is just really nice melodic alternative music. But it has this extra edge to it due to Omar's musicianship. These songs would sound good in basic form but Omar always adds these extra effects or guitar wizardry just to take the tracks to the next level.

The thing is the first 7 tracks feel like the first half of the album. If you are listening from track 8 onwards for the first time it is a bit of a surprise in a way. But if you have heard Omar at all in the past its probably not really surprising at all! And this is a very good thing. The vocals disappear on the last 4 tracks and it just sounds like a full on jam session. It is marvellous.

Although I never really stopped listening to At the Drive-in and the Mars Volta. This album has really made me want to get into more of Omar's solo stuff again. This album shows that even if you didn't like some of the album. You do need to listen to it all the way through as you just don't know what is around the corner.

 ¿Sólo Extraño? by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.21 | 10 ratings

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¿Sólo Extraño?
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by ole-the-first

2 stars Another quite uninspired electronic work from much celebrated prog guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez doesn't puts much in addition to what's already been said on his previous solo works.

The first track, 'Salt Lines', and 'Common Condescend' both remind me a bit of No-Man and their later albums, and I would say that actually all the vocals on this album (although heavily processed) remind me of Tim Bowness. Another interesting track is 'Invisible Laziness', which features some nice electronic effects, and 'Machu Picchu' is not a bad instrumental track.

Despite of some minor changes in style throughout the album, the music here looks quite sameish, and virtually has nothing really unique to offer to listener.

4/10. It's not the worst work in the vast Omar Rodriguez-Lopez catalogue, but definitely one of those you can easily live without.

 Unicorn Skeleton Mask by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.00 | 11 ratings

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Unicorn Skeleton Mask
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kazza3

3 stars If you're a fan of The Mars Volta's latest (last?) effort, 'Noctourniquet', then you might want to check out this album- it's widely speculated among fans that the sessions between Omar and drummer Deantoni Parks that spawned that album are the same sessions that bore many of the songs here. Some of these songs have also been performed instrumentally live by the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group.

The thing that will strike you first is the strange mixing- intentionally muddied, bass heavy, just weird. It's enough to many Omar fans off, but it's not a problem once you're used to it. The other is Omar's vocals- while previous albums (Xenophanes, Un Escorpion Perfumado) have shown him to be a perfectly capable vocalist, through the recent years (his electronic era), he has taken to singing almost mumbled vocals, which are then distorted and run through effects so as to make them completely undecipherable- rendering them more like another instrument. Albeit an annoying one, according to many. This is just one of the trends of his recent solo albums continued here- in recent years for solo albums: a shift towards electronic music influences, intentionally messy production and distorted/effected vocals, albums recently digitally seemingly on a whim, consisting largely of music recorded years earlier.

On to the songs: there are largely two kinds of tracks on this album, structured songs (the ones thought to have been considered for inclusion on TMV's album) such as Storm Shadow, Right of Way, Maria te Canta and Names. These are all very good, mixing and vocals aside, with many interesting parts, and like many Noctourniquet, excellent bridges. The other kind are mostly short jams on a drumbeat or loop, such as Happiness, Tennesse (sic) and Bored to Burns (which highlights Deantoni on drums- although the entire album is filled with his astounding prescence).

Overall, a good if somewhat difficult album, one of his best in recent years, and one of particularly interest to Volta fans and those who have seen Omar's tours in recent years.

 Woman Gives Birth To Tomato! by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.17 | 12 ratings

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Woman Gives Birth To Tomato!
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Tull Tales

2 stars This album is available for free listening at Omar's Bandcamp site, and thank God.

While the players are clearly skilled, and this is certainly 'progressive', I can't imagine that I would ever listen to this again. It is completely free form. No structure, no melody; just a group of musicians all kind of doing their own thing, together.

I appreciate Omar's willingness to try new things, and often he strikes gold. I imagine that these sessions were quite a lot of fun for those involved in making them. Unfortunately this time, for me at least, it results in something that I just cannot listen to.

 Saber, Querer, Osar y Callar by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.85 | 15 ratings

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Saber, Querer, Osar y Callar
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

2 stars An electronic album from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of THE MARS VOLTA. As with most of his solo albums, this bears little resemblance to that bands body of work. Nothing too groundbreaking is offered here. It starts interesting enough with "Home Lost" but quickly turns uninteresting to my musical taste. I have listeded to this a few times and have yet to make it all the way through in one sitting. I lsten to half and then at another time the other half. The final album cut, "Angel Hair" is also not bad but not enough to save the whole thing. 2 stars only
 Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
2.68 | 25 ratings

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Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

2 stars From 2011 comes this 7 song EP of Omar-Rodriguez-Lopez (The Mars Volta) and John Frusciante (Red Hot Chile Peppers). I got this online and played it for a day or two, but it really left little lasting effect. Lots of jamming and a dearth of anything to sink one's teeth into. If I had to pick a favorite track it would be the soft and brooding "VTA" which towards the end sounds like some MARS VOLTA-like sound effects. "0" is also kind of cool. No doubt these guys can play, but the my interest level was not piqued. Also, not really happy with the sound quality. Maybe hurried production?
 Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Lydia Lunch by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
2.87 | 14 ratings

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Lydia Lunch
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

2 stars From 2007, this short EP contains 5 songs with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Lydia Lunch. Lydia is a spoken word artist of who I know little about. My experience with this from of music is limited pretty much to Laurie Anderson. This is NOT like that at all. This is some weird stuff but gets boring and repetitive quickly. The spoken voice is okay but not fantastic. Omar's music is, naturally, finely done and tends to be eclectic and experimental. Good if you are in the right mood but I am not sure I will ever be in the mood to listen to this again. Creative and "interesting". Challenging.
 Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Damo Suzuki - Please Heat This Eventually by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
2.98 | 17 ratings

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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Damo Suzuki - Please Heat This Eventually
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by mohaveman

2 stars Take a guy from The Mars Volta, and one from Can, and this is pretty much what you would expect to get. From 2007, PLEASE HEAT THIS EVENTUALLY is a short 24 minute EP or long-single. The "noodling" gets on my nerves. This could be called "avant-garde" or "experimental" but it is often just not interesting and sometimes repititive. The vocal by Damo Suzuki add little to the overall sound and I just don't care for them much. Maybe I would enjoy the instrumental version of these 2 pieces better. I really like TMV but Omar's works have never impressed me in the same way. Collectors/fans only.
Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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