Let Us Now Listen To The Discographies Of Various Musicians

Mike K

The Mars Volta: Amputechture

Amputechture (2006)

Fan reaction to this seems to be pretty mixed, but I for one really like this one. I sort of think of it as their psychedelic album: Cedric does a lot more singing in falsetto as opposed to shouting, there's more gratuitous use of guitar pedals, and saxophone and keyboard parts tend to get as much emphasis as guitar. Which is not to say there aren't plenty of heavy moments, the production just tends to make them more subtle than the louder parts of past albums.

The main improvement over Frances The Mute is that there aren't any sound collage interludes as such. Instead, they're integrating the "sound manipulations" into the songs themselves as odd little sonic details. For instance, about 6 minutes into "Meccamputechture", Cedric's voice suddenly gets processed with a massive amount of distortion and delay - the Frances The Mute approach would probably be to put this at the end of the song, do a bunch of pitchshifting and looping, and let it take up 3 additional minutes of the track. Instead, this only happens just long enough to make you ask "what the hell was that?". The effect in general is that the album feels both more cohesive and more out there than past efforts.

Key tracks: Vermicide, Viscera Eyes, Day Of The Baphomets