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The Bedlam in Goliath
Producer(s): Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
Genre: ROCK
Label: GSL/Universal
As roller coasters go, the Mars Volta is definitely an E ticket—and never more so than here. Inspired by an Ouija-style game board that purportedly unleashed a series of tribulations on the duo while making the album, the aptly titled "The Bedlam in Goliath" is a sonic cascade of frenetic, Frank Zappa-esque mini-epics. Occasional short (sub-three-minute) forays like the punky "Wax Simulacra" and the smoothly melodic "Tourniquet Man" provide a little ebb to the flow. Most of the time, however, the band makes a righteous racket that straddles the worlds of prog rock, funk, fusion jazz and world music, with Eastern motifs spicing "Aberinkula" and a bit of cosmic blues making its way into "Conjugal Burns." And since the vocals function as another instrument, it takes some diligence for listeners to track the story—which ultimately is not essential to enjoying this ride.—Gary Graff

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