amputek, ambangis ng Amputechture.
I’ve actually waited so long to say that in my blog. I’ve been listening like crazy to their album amputechture. At first, it was quite weird because the initial songs are filled with seemingly wayward instrumentals that seem to go nowhere, sort of like an overextended soundcheck by drugged-up sound engineers. The album actually is quite a taxing listen. There are only eight tracks but the shortest song actually is four minutes, with the most being sixteen minutes. That said, the album’s a crazy musical jungle, hell, it’s an insane musical fuckfest!
The album actually has very sophisticated and much advanced musical technology (but what mars volta album actually is not?), but surely not in the same vein as freakin linkin park. A slew of broken time signatures and deranged chord progressions is what I mean, with the insanity compounded all the more by the fact that the album is actually made by two individuals, and the mystery is all the more compounded by the fact that Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez actually performs their songs live. This is insane because the domain of progressive rock have mostly been occupied by bands with complete members, or if not, with numbers close to a full size orchestra, dare I say Dream Theater?
I have this thing for indie bands because I take them as an empowerment for listeners in that they show that music belongs to everyone. The whole indie thing is a solid countercultural gutpunch against the dominion of corporate music establishments. But it’s also cool to hear bands like Mars Volta, who have passion enough to raise the bar and add different levels of sophistication to their outputs, caring not about whatever corporate standards pop bands are worshiping just to clinch a spot in the Billboard Top Ten or what.
It would sure be career suicide for bands to release an album with no catchy ditties, but fuck that, here’s Amphutecture, inconsiderate of whatever sales strategy, in absence of any effort to court mainstream aesthetics and unencumbered by whatever musical trends. It’s just plain sonic orgasm brewing with blazing pyrotechnics and tonal madness. It’s too pretentious, but I’ll go on and say that Mars Volta is a genre unto its own.
One can’t ignore the guts of the duo to come up with an out of this world album, and speaking of guts, Amputecthure is then again another gamble as the output is yet again another concept album with a unifying theme so transcendental you would think metaphysics is a kindergarten concept.
Cedric says this: “This album’s a commentary about the fear of God instead of the love of God, which goes hand-in-hand with Catholicism…To me, religion is the reason there is so much conflict in this world, and I think it’s just so unnecessary to believe in this blue-eyed, white-bearded, white-haired God. Amputechture is my personal way of describing enlightenment, or just the celebration of this person who is a shaman and not a crazy person. It’s about the pineal gland and how it has certain elements that mimic a DMT experience, and how we can come up with cures for cancer and AIDS if we’re more in tune with what’s going on in the rainforest.“
I don’t freaking know how in the hell they were able to patch up concepts of fear of religion, pineal gland and DMT experience (what the hell are those?), AIDS, rainforest, whatever. But don’t mind that much because you really don’t have to fully comprehend everything to appreciate it. You know the stuff with beautiful poetry? You don’t quite understand what the writer actually says but you know that it’s beautiful. haha.
Lourd de Veyra said in his column at Burn mag, “Great music should produce tectonic shifts in your perspective, because if not, what’s the point?” De Veyra said that in the context that rock and roll nowadays is safe and boring and no longer dangerous. De Veyra waxes nostalgic to the days when rock and roll was associated with satanism and all that stuff, come to think of it, everybody nowadays call themselves rock, like pop rock, alt rock, and the like, hell, everybody wants to be rock.
I remember my parents back in the days when I was initially introduced to rock and roll and was consuming it like crazy, blasting the radio speakers far beyond friendly neighborhood standards with basti or lars ulrich bellowing at the speakers. My parents would usually say, “Ano ba yan? Music ba yan?”
I think great music is such, that it would make you second-guess its form if music it truly is, but then get away with it. Isn’t that the same thing James Joyce did with his novels? He revolutionized the very concept of a novel, took the technology to levels no one thought possible, and got away with it.
Okay, I’m rambling now. What I just want to say is that Mars Volta is nothing short of extraordinary, and Amputecthure is definitely a testament to it, including their two previous albums. And have I said how cool it is to hear someone rambling in Mexican amid a backdrop of frenetic musical bedlam? Go listen.