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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Cryptomnesia CD (album) cover


Omar Rodriguez-Lopez


Eclectic Prog

3.03 | 44 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars This is The Mars Volta B-team. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, whom I consider to be the most creative guitarist of the decade, must reserve all of his best material for his main band (rightfully so, I believe), and just dump everything else he comes up with on a dozen solo albums throughout the year. Amusingly enough, many of these albums feature Cedric Bixler-Zavala as the "guest" lead vocalist. The rest of the lineup may change (or not), but the result is more or less subpar music from The Mars Volta (in this case, complete with gratuitous profanity). In this case, it's subpar music from The Mars Volta with an experimental edge and an electronic tinge. Rodriguez-Lopez said he completed the music for this album in under a week, and that it waited two years before the vocals were added- perhaps during that time he could have worked some coherence into the compositions. Hardcore fans may delight, but it shouldn't be surprising if even they don't rejoice. For a high-quality solo outing from Rodriguez-Lopez, I recommend Xenophanes without reservation.

"Tuberculoids" Predictably enough, the album starts with a variety of bizarre noises and creepy sounds. The band bursts in abruptly, with Bixler-Zavala singing almost immediately. The instrumentation and arrangement is one blurry mess. Worst of all, the vocal melody is not in tune with the "music" (a term I use loosely here)- not a good start at all.

"Half Kleptos" An improvement on the opening track, this at least has a coherent refrain, but the sound is still really off. Bixler-Zavala sings really low and doesn't sound right doing so.

"Cryptomnesia" This opens with electronic noises and a man speaking about being high on hashish and pretending to be a Muslim with a girl giggling at his tale (at least that's what I gathered). The music is frantic and noisy, again with a vocal melody that is a mismatch with the music.

"They're Coming to Get You, Barbara" Automatic electronic music is paired with weird, breathy noises before giving way to even more nonsensical, avant-garde twaddle.

"Puny Humans" Yet another bizarre excursion that is merely painful to listen to. Bixler-Zavala basically raps during the verses and sings "I won't get Tourette's if you won't get Tourette's." The final part of this song is his best performance on the album, however.

"Shake is for 8th Graders" After a brief interlude of someone talking, the previous track continues.

"Noir" This is more electronic noises and otherworldly breathing. The high-pitched singing is accompanied mainly by a chugging bass playing the same two notes. The second half is a cacophony from hell.

"Paper Cunts" Paper cunts? Really? While I'm certainly no fan of censorship or prudishness, the title of this piece doubles as both bad taste and a cringe-worthy pun. Unlike the title, the hectic music will be forgotten just as quickly as it is heard.

"Elderly Pair Beaten with Hammer" Here is another disharmonious piece with an inspiring title. It's loaded with insane, profanity-laced lyrics (perhaps Bixler-Zavala does have Tourette's) and chaotic music (again).

"Warren Oates" Here is another collection of noise, sounds and guitar thrown together haphazardly, with only the drums providing anything coherent.

"Fuck Your Mouth" This seems to be a pointlessly random excuse to use the title- the track itself consists of a man thanking folks for listening and then signing off.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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