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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Sandy Carson photographer


As the guitarist/composer for The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has had a regular outlet for his noisy but nuanced ideas for a decade and a half. Well, it seems that their regular output—The Mars Volta has released six records in as many years, with the latest, Octahedron, just out on June 23rd—is not enough. The guy has no less than a baker’s dozen solo and side-project records out, and they’re all good!

Well, they’re all good if you’re into proggy bluesy arty rock ’n’ roll. They’re all good if you’d like to hear what the edges around The Mars Volta sound like. They’re not out-take-ish though: these are fully formed musical onslaughts and they will broaden your head in the same way that The Mars Volta did when you first heard them.

His latest with El Grupo Nuevo De Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, which includes Zack Hill and Spencer Seim from Hella, Cryptomnesia, is a beautifully intricate extension of the last couple of Mars Volta outings, while Old Money is a bit more proggy and weird, but no less fun. Octahedron shows Rodriguez-Lopez eliciting a restraint unseen since Francis the Mute.

Ever wish your favorite band would release more records? Well, if The Mars Volta is your favorite band, chances are you haven’t even heard everything the members have out.

, 22 June 2009

The Mars Volta are just kicking off a Euro-tour, starting in Zurich and culminating in shows in the UK and Ireland