4 September 2012    |    Music

The Mars Volta

To say that these guys can be a challenging listen is probably putting it mildly. The first time I heard them, I wanted to run from the room screaming. So when I was asked if I might accompany a loved one to a gig, I agreed but was filled with a sense of dread and made a mental note to purchase a pair of earplugs. Luckily, this first encounter was at The Barrowlands where I’ve always felt quite comfortable and by the time the band took to the stage I was braced and ready for anything. Which was just as well. Fast forward a couple of hours (probably nearer three), and there I was in quite a shocked state wondering what I had just witnessed.

They are an incredibly tight band and while I don’t pretend to understand the structure of their songs, I have no idea how they do it. Sometimes it seems like each of them is playing a different tune, then they’ll suddenly all stop and change. I still find it difficult to listen to a whole studio album (although, I have a soft spot for ‘Octahedron’) but I’ve seen them three times now and I’m already looking forward to the fourth. It’s a mesmerising showcase of Omar’s virtuoso guitar playing and Cedric’s incredible multi-vocal. Not to mention his unbelievable dance moves.

Welcome to another planet at www.themarsvolta.com