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The Mars Volta - Scab Dates CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

2.74 | 118 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Ah, a live glimpse of The Mars Volta, one of the greatest, most mind blowing bands of the current age. After De-Loused and the absolute masterpiece of Frances, not many people know where TMV are going to go next. They are extremely unpredictable (in a good way of course), and this seems to be the interim album, recording between, I think, May 2004 and May 2005.

Even a real, die-hard Mars Volta fan would look at the back of the album, look at the tracks, and recognize only two or three tracks from the entire thing. Take the Veil..., Concertina, and Cicatriz would ring some bells, but we'd get confused by the absence of the "ESP" after the word "Cicatriz".

Also, the weird track listing is enough to throw anyone off. Take The Veil... and Cicatriz have two and 4 subsection, respectively. However, they are separate songs. What I mean is this: Take the Veil is track two, and its two sections are 3 and 4. Odd, huh. Well, that's how they do it. It's more adding on two sections to Take the Veil... and adding 4 sections to Cicatriz, which does the same thing.

Anywho, on to the album itself. The Mars Volta live is much different than studio TMV. They've always been a more loose-feeling, semi-jamming band, but live, that influence is fully taken through. The free, seemingly drug-induced jamming thrives throughout, and it is fantastic. (To explain why I say drug-induced, just listen to the 4 sub-parts of Cicatriz, what with the bits of no music and voices right in the middle of all the stuff.)

Also, one note is that Cedric's vocals are really changed. Just listen to the way he sings "A mass of gallon sloth" in Take the Veil... I personally think that Cedric is in the top 5 vocalists of current times, among the best of all time as well. He's just... different, live. It takes a bit of getting used to, I'm not gonna lie.

Yet, overall, it provides for some enjoyable stuff. I love the band, and this is a very good output from them. 3/5 stars.

Yanns | 3/5 |


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