Countdown To Latitude: The Mars Volta

In this month's Uncut, Guy Garvey previews Latitude and notes, with regard to The Mars Volta, "We're all into some heavy prog." A sceptic might say that you'd need to be, given that this remarkable Californian band have a much more unambiguous relationship with prog rock than most of their more timid contemporaries.

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In this month’s Uncut, Guy Garvey previews Latitude and notes, with regard to The Mars Volta, “We’re all into some heavy prog.” A sceptic might say that you’d need to be, given that this remarkable Californian band have a much more unambiguous relationship with prog rock than most of their more timid contemporaries.



When they’re on form, though, The Mars Volta are one of modern rock’s strangest and most gripping spectacles. Cedric Bixler-Zavalas and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez‘ band conjure up a frantic combination of punk rock velocity, Santana-esque virtuosity, strangulated vocal ululations, dub-derived sonic trickery, Latino rhythms, the more complicated bits of Yes, mind-blowingly unintelligible lyrics and – yes! – some pretty excellent tunes.

Mars Volta shows are often wild, untethered and epic. But for newcomers (and for some mildly shellshocked veterans), the relative economy of a headlining slot on the Uncut stage might just work to their advantage. Get a good position to watch Bixler’s fabulous gymnastics, and let’s hope they play “Cicatriz ESP”, right?

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