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The Mars Volta - Scab Dates CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

2.73 | 113 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1 stars The idea of letting a band as wildly creative as The Mars Volta go completely all out in a live setting sounds frankly incredible on paper, seeing what sorts of surreal jamming can be done to build upon some of their pre-existing material. Unfortunately, what ends up happening on Scabdates is the band completely losing themselves in the process with these long stretches of meandering nonsense that seems to have a total lack of grounding. This is just an all around awful live album for the most part, not just in terms of the compositions themselves being all over the place, but even in terms of the performances themselves. Nobody here seems to be anywhere near in top form, with the instrumentation feeling very messy and Cedric's vocals making him sound like he's half asleep and just going through the motions. The songs themselves rarely benefit from their extended runtimes either, with the additions feeling extremely redundant for the vast majority of the time and not even really lining up with anything else they try to achieve, feeling entirely disconnected from the core that's being built off. Not entirely worthless since you've got parts 2 and 3 of Cicatriz which do in fact work really well, extending things in a more natural way and even including a bit of David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes, which was a very charming moment, but then it ends up devolving into 20 minutes of weird effects and field recordings and goes back to the negatives. I guess this just shows what happens when a band just gets a bit lost in their own madness and self-indulgence, because this ends up having next to none of the appeal that the band typically would have.

Best tracks: Concertina, Cicatriz part 2 and 3

Weakest tracks: Abrasions Mount the Timpani, Caviglia, Cicatriz part 4

Kempokid | 1/5 |


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