Deloused in the Comatorium

Deloused in the Coma­to­ri­um [DITC], the new seman­tic expe­ri­ence from The Mars Vol­ta. Read my pompous review, but first go buy the album.

When At the Dri­ve In split a while back, my friend Kyle was pret­ty miffed, they were one of his favorite bands. From the splin­ters of this band emerged two new musi­cal direc­tions: Spar­ta and The Mars Vol­ta. Unfor­tu­nate­ly Spar­ta seemed to get their act togeth­er a bit too fast, and instead of a new musi­cal direc­tion, the band’s sound foundered in the seas of medi­oc­rity [at least for me it did]. Their brand of rockin’ was a bit too, um, uno­rig­i­nal and coo­ki-cut­ter for my tastes. In fact, I couldn’t tell you what one of their songs sound­ed like right now, despite hav­ing seen them in con­cert, and lis­tened to their album, and I must not for­get pal Kyle.

The Mars Vol­ta, took con­sid­er­ably longer to pro­duce a full album. Wise­ly so, if this delay has increased the qual­i­ty of DITC. Grant­ed, they released the Trem­u­lant EP awhile back, but its three songs, seem to me more of a test bed for their sound, before the full blown expe­ri­ence emerges [and getes paid for].

Trem­u­lant pre­pared lis­ten­ers for the inven­tive seman­tic mum­bo-jum­bo and exper­i­men­tal punk [redun­dant or just that mar­gin­al?] sound that The Mars Vol­ta had defined as their own. Their lyrics are shall I say, inchoate. An admix­ture of var­i­ous lan­guages [eng­lish then span­ish are the heav­i­est thank­ful­ly] and spack­led togeth­er phonemes and mor­phemes, lis­ten­ers pret­ty much have to rely on the singing to get a han­dle for what the songs are about. The lyrics for Eunuch Provo­ca­teur off of Trem­u­lant can be found here. [As you will note, one of the lines from this song became the title of the LP].

Stu­pid­ly, the lyrics for DITC are going to be avail­able for mailorder pur­chase some­time next month, mak­ing them that much hard­er to access. You real­ly have to want to know what the fuck he is say­ing if you are will­ing to pay for it. Per­son­al­ly, I will wait till some­one does buy them and then sticks them on the ‘net.

The vocal pirouttes of Cedric Zavala are what make this album for me. His tenor is crisp and clear and loud, but thank­ful­ly not pierc­ing. Its like wind off of a moun­tain, or if you live in the city, what your clothes smell like after you toss in about eight dry­er sheets with them.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez can wring some mighty wild sounds out of his axe let me tell you.

DITC begins with a steadi­ly grow­ing sound of syn­the­siz­er and dis­tor­tion, and then Cedric comes in with his elec­tron­i­cized voice, and you know some­thing huge is about to hap­pen, then you are teased with some false starts before C real­ly lets it rip into the first true song ‘iner­ti­at­ic esp.’ This seems pret­ty straight­for­ward The Mars Vol­ta, the music is seg­ment­ed into sev­er­al modes, usu­al­ly with quick but full stops before launch­ing into the next sec­tion. Beware though, The Mars Vol­ta can switch gears seam­less­ly if they want to, and some­times they want to.

roulette dares (the haunt of)’ presents a slight­ly more melod­i­cal­ly vari­ant, though smoother, expli­ca­tion of what­ev­er the hell C is singing, it ris­es and val­leys, then peaks and then falls again, some­times precipices lurk right in the mid­dle of things, but the song is quite mel­low and quite cathar­tic at the same time.

drunk­ship of lanterns’ bor­rows its end from their Trem­u­lant fin­ish­er ‘Eunuch Provo­ca­teur,’ and ‘cic­itriz esp’ is almost just like Tremulant’s ‘Cut That City’ except quite a bit longer. I don’t feel that they are just recy­cling this because they can­not hack it. To me it seems that Trem­u­lant tru­ly was a test­ing bed, and they took what worked from that EP and beefed it up for this album.

This was real­ly hard to write, because DITC is so queer. Some­how The Mars Vol­ta has made it pos­si­ble for two objects to exist in the same space at the same time, con­trary to the lit­tle musi­cal physics I am acquaint­ed with. Songs can be mel­low but unre­pen­tant­ly cathar­tic from one sec­ond to the next. It works. 8/10. Thanks to Phil for the rec­om­men­da­tion.

5 Replies

  • Where can I get the lyrics. I saw them last night at the Hen­ry Fon­da Theatre..this band is amaz­ing

  • Path to the lyrics:

    1. http://www.thecomatorium.com
    2. Click on the lyrics head­ing at the top of the page stuck in between media and tabs.
    3. You should see a note for the book­let (con­sid­er it, it sounds interesting)then get what you came for and click on either the ep (Trem­u­lant) or the lp (De-Loused in the Coma­to­ri­um).
    4. Enjoy

  • where can i get orig­i­nal mars vol­ta tabs????i want iner­ti­at­ic esp tabs if any­one knows a page please tell me

Comments are closed.