YMMV / The Mars Volta

  • Archive Panic: Sure, they might have only six studio albums, one live album, and an EP (in addition to a few B-sides here and there), but since bootlegging is encouraged at their shows, almost every concert they've ever played can be easily downloaded. The result? Several dozen gigabytes of MP3 files to hear all of their live material. Necessary for completionists because they frequently mutate improvised sections into new songs, and even those that aren't reused still kick ass.
  • Broken Base: Not very prevalent, actually, but there are certain fans who will argue over the better drummer was Pridgen or Theodore; it's almost certain that Elitch will be a topic of argument.
    • Elitch was apparently only a temporary drummer, and he's been replaced by Deantoni Parks, someone the fans can all pretty much agree is a good fit (because really).
    • Do not ever start the debate over which is better: De-Loused or Frances the Mute. Odds are you'll get several page-long arguments.
      • On that note, strangely enough, Frances the Mute itself. It's either a complete masterpiece of both the band's career and even progressive rock as a whole, or it's the textbook definition of a Sophomore Slump and a case of a band going way too far on only their second album, cramming too many ideas and seemingly not knowing what to do with them.
    • The band's later albums seem to be less universally liked among the fanbase than the earlier ones, possibly because of the band's move away from Progressive Rock and Epic Rocking; however, there are quite a few fans who like all the band's work. Octahedron seems to be their most contentious release.
  • Creepy Awesome: Frances the Mute as a whole.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The bass intro and guitar/saxophone duel from "Day of the Baphomets" probably count.
    • The entire albums of De-Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute qualify, but special mention goes to the 32 minute end track on Frances the Mute, "Cassandra Gemini."
    • The band's later albums have their moments. "Vedamalady" stands out as a particular highlight from Noctourniquet.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The music video for Goliath has the band not even trying to play along with the song. Highlights include Omar playing a violin and the song stopping halfway through because a car was coming through their set.
  • Epileptic Trees: It was rumoured that "Zed and Two Naughts" was their swan song and that they would break up. Harsher in Hindsight when you consider that when Omar announced the band's hiatus, he stated that he was unsure if the band will ever reunite. Made WORSE when it was announced the band was splitting up following disagreements between Omar and Cedric. This also became a rather unwanted case of I Knew It.
  • Face of the Band: Omar and Cedric, but arguably justified in that it is explicitly stated in the liner notes for Amputechture that they are The Mars Volta and that the rest of the band are part of The Mars Volta Group.
    • Recently Omar has stated that he wants to make The Mars Volta more of a democracy.
  • First Installment Wins: The band's first two albums are generally their most popular and widely acclaimed. The others are still fairly well liked, though.
  • Ho Yay: Honestly Omar and Cedric are very guilty of this.
    • It's gotten to the point where Omar acknowledged it in an interview
  • Jump Scare: On Frances the Mute, every song transitions into the next via ambient soundscapes that can last up to a full minute. The final song, "Cassandra Gemini", simply starts full-blast in the middle of the final ambient segue.
  • Love It or Hate It: Just the band's output as a whole, really.
  • Mondegreen: From Conjugal Burns: I GOT A PENIS THAT'LL RIP THROUGH THE VERY FABRIC OF TIME, TIME, TIME, TIME...
  • Most Annoying Sound: Scabdates opens with a baby screaming.
  • Nightmare Fuel: So much of it. A few obvious examples: the cacophonous ending of "Tourniquet Man", the four-minute intro of "Frances the Mute" (the song), and the back story of Frances the Mute (the album). A few other examples of their music being unsettling for less obvious reasons include the ambient midsection of "Cicatriz ESP", in which a listener might keep expecting some kind of Scare Chord, and the twice-used outro "Con safo" (appears at the end of both "Cygnus....Vismund Cygnus" and "Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore"), which establishes a very unsettling kind of tension.
    • The four minute intro to "Frances the Mute" (song) might be the creepiest thing they've ever done. It consists solely of weird, metallic clanging with a Drone of Dread that gets louder as it goes on, ratcheting the tension up to nearly unbearable levels. It gets even creepier when you know the story behind the album, and realise what the clanging actually is; it's an SOS. When the Epic Riff finally appears 4 and a half minutes in, it comes as a relief.
  • Signature Song: "L'via L'viaquez"
  • Tear Jerker:
    • "Televators", as well as a few other tracks on De-Loused. Kind of inevitable when the album is about suicide.
    • "Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sounds", which gives us this lyric:
    All I have to do is forgive your broken heart...
    • "With Twilight As My Guide", a somber, haunting ballad about the Salem Witch Trials.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The band gets this reaction a lot. Some of At the Drive-In's fans weren't too happy about TMV including prog influence on their music. And then some of TMV's fans weren't too happy about TMV lightening the prog influence on their later material. Also qualifies as Unpleasable Fanbase.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Kind of a given when a band incorporates this much Mind Screw into its works.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheMarsVolta