Review: The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet

My system for rating music is simple. Whatever it is, irrespective of genre, I should always be able to imagine myself, fucking, driving or writing to it, better than I do in real life.

The albums we listen to are the soundtracks to our lives after all. My life sucks, so it has be the soundtrack to my filthy fantasy life…

You might say driving is pretty similar to sex because it’s all about “performance”. But I would tell you that I don’t fantasise about having sex solo (I call that wanking), and I don’t swear at other people fucking around me (I’ve never been invited to those sorts of parties), and seldom do I fly through the air even in my most outlandish sex fantasies.

The Whip Hand, the lead off track from The Mars Volta’s Noctourniquet, left me with a dick bent at a 90 degrees, decapitated under a car on fire, and throwing my laptop across the room crying like a hysterical 6 year old.

The song is jarring to say the least. Call me old fashioned, but I always like the drummers to stay close to “in time”.



Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the vocalist called the albums sound “future punk”. So punk went from playing simply to playing badly? Yeah… that’s totally punk, in a lens-less wayfarers and cut-off denim shorts pulled under your tits, sort of way.

Thankfully, the rest of the album, the drummer and percussionist realised they should play together and the band starts to sound like they’ve played their instruments before. Dyslexicon is going to be a huge. Everyone will fuck like porn stars to this song. Consider this part of my own, Les Propheties. Then again Nostradamus was delusional, so I may be wrong, but this is a great song.



The Malkin Jewel, the first single off the album is a hint of that “future punk” sound described, but to me it was more of an Alice Cooper song with The Clash playing perfectly in the background.

Except that there is a lot of keyboard, I should have mentioned that. There is a lot of keyboard on this album. Silly little notes that zoom up and down during verses and do zippy things in breaks. For the most part I didn’t like it, but they do add atmosphere and depth I suppose, if you’re in to that sort of thing.



Imago made me think of old 8-bit TV games, and made me depressed. It should be good for writing. Nothing makes a good writer like a miserable childhood. Sex would be out of the question though, and as far as driving goes, I would want to turn into the closest wall, but in a good way. Like a sad cathartic grand gesture.



Then it’s turned all the way back up with Molochwalk, foot on the gas, going down the freeway, Vantage Point style. These two songs should never be played separately… Ever! Hear that CDJ? Never ever!

The Mars Volta’s long awaited sixth album has finally arrived. It’s been a three year wait since their last offering, and according to Omar, the last of its kind.

Apparently he’s not going to be called the “guitar, producer and direction” of the band anymore. Good thing for the rest of the band members, who must have felt pretty North Korean under Supreme Leader Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.

The Mars has always released high concept albums. This is probably not like them, since I can’t find any mention of an overarching theme. That being said, this is their sixth studio album and thus, nothing like their first album, or even their fourth.

It is still a great ride though, despite some parts making me lose my continence. Go give it a listen.



P Blood

Suffering from an inexplicably large ego and ignoring common courtesy, Mr P. Blood indulges his opinions about whatever comes to his cesspool of a mind, and strangely people don’t seem to hate him for it. Making him a writer, of sorts.


3 thoughts on “Review: The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet

  1. Fucken awesome band ! Fucken awesome review ! I am going to download this album (illegally) as soon as I get home. And I’m going to listen to this you tube snippet ( I don’t have speakers here at work) but fuck I do love a bit of the Mars Volta. Not all the time though, it tends to break my mind. Russel, this made me laugh bro.

  2. I’m afraid I have to disagree on your dig at the drumming on “the Whip Hand” – I’m afraid that musically it has simply gone over your head. The mars volta has always been musically inaccesible to the large majority of it’s fans – in many ways it’s musicians music. Vastly complex, unusual, deliberately different. If you happen not to like what he’s doing on drums – thats cool, but I can assure you, it’s in time.

    • Over my head or not, it was painful and unpleasant no matter how many times I listened to it. Dude, it’s music, not a maths test. Don’t make it sound elitist. My musicianship shouldn’t really be a factor. I stand by my comment, it is a horrible opening track to an otherwise brilliantly composed musical roller coaster and most of all an accessible album.

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