Minor Threat and Mars Volta

23 05 2008

So for this weeks reviews I am going to look at two completely different albums. First up is Minor Threats Complete Discography followed by The Mars Volta’s Bedlam In Goliath. Both albums demonstrate great leaps forward in music and the band own genera’s.

First up is Minor Threats Complete Discography. The first thing you may notice about this is its one disc with 26 songs total. Many don’t buy punk albums because of them being short and really basic. I would have to disagree with this just because something is short doesn’t make the music bad. My feeling is that Minor Threat gets their point across and feels no need to extend out into long solo’s and jam sessions. The quick lighting fast songs at the start of the album highlight Minor Threats sense of speed. Their lighting fast riffs and quick (somewhat same) drum beats paint a picture of a Band that never really stops but instead pauses for a minute. The first big song on the album that I really loved was Minor Threat, Ian MacKaye blaring lyrics and almost violent tone scare me and after watching live shows I see what so many were talking about. The Band seems to have lure and control over the crowd to the point of near complete control. Theirs is a lot to be said for Minor Threats lyrics and message, it was one that was not really common in that day in age. Many credit MacKaye with the founding of the Straight Edge movement within Hardcore Punk an aspect that goes against what the culture idea of the Punk scene was in late 80’s. To this day people still follow the principles “No Drugs” “No Drinking” “No Promiscuous Sex”.

Throughout the album MacKaye comment on the problems (social, economical, political) occurring throughout America and feels that Straight Edge would help the situation. This idea is highlighted in In My Eyes, MacKaye seems to slowly build up to his explosion of anger an contempt for what sounds like a friend. The seems to be a one on one confrontation between MacKaye and the individual over how the person treats himself, the song seem to be half a speech and more of an attempt to stop the person from doing what ever he .

The Final real highlight of the album is Salad Days the final song ever released by Minor Threat and a different one at that. If you listen to the start and end of the album you would find two completely different bands. While Salad Days is a good song its still not Minor Threat. With a more constructed formula to their music its more controlled and tamed then their songs at the beginning of the album. Overall the album covers Minor Threat from start to finish and shows a side of punk rock that is rather lost in today’s modern punk. The album brings you back to a time when all you could do was Do it Yourself.

4 out of 5

Minor Threat

Next up is The Mars Volta Bedlam in Goliath their newest album to their ever increasing library of songs, while the first couple of Mars Volta albums could be considered concept albums that really never materializing into true albums more long solo’s and ambient noise. Though I don’t feel that way towards the first couple of Mars Volta albums I can see the perspective of those listening. Though their newest album is the one of the most constructed and focus albums of their career.

The album seems to open up and really never stop, the first single of the album Wax Simularca highlights the furious style of the band. After much searching the band has seemed to find its formula, with the addition of drummer Thomas Pridgen who adds really intricate drumbeats and appropriate and sometimes utter stunning fills. The next highlight of the band is Omar Rodgruiz Lopez the left hand guitarist from El Paso and former member of At The Drive In. With no problem Lopez changes from style to style to fill the voids and gaps within the album. With great solo’s and cool blend of effects and true skill Lopez grinds out great songs with a mixture of prog rock and jazz. The Final highlight to the lineup is Cedric Bixler-Zavala the lead singer and un questionable leader of the band, with great singing style Cedric is one of the biggest highlights of the band. The album slowed down only at one point, the song Tourniquets Man a slow song that seems to only allow them to catch their breath for a moment just to get back into it.

The final great song is definitely Soothsayer which has a weird Arab overtone to it combined with a group of strings give the song a creepy build up to the start of this eight minute masterpiece. Overall Bedlam in Goliath is one of the best of albums for the Mars Volta but it is still not their greatest work, I would also say thought this is a great entry album for someone who has never listened to anything by them.

4 out of 5

Bedlam In Goliath





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: