At The Drive-In was a wonderful band. They had it all; spirit, flair, self-awareness, taste and a fierceness that leapt from the speakers like a face-hugger. Then they split up and prime-mover Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez formed The Mars Volta and released the album ‘De-loused in the Comatorium’ to a positively fawning critical reception.
The first release from the band’s second long-player, ‘ Frances the Mute’, is a production which gives the distinct impression that
Rodriguez-Lopez may have let the plaudits go to his head somewhat.
This chunk of helium-fuelled Prog-Rock is as over-blown as it is complacent. Add to that the fact that it’s vaguely reminiscent of Carlos Santana covering INXS’s ‘Never Tear Us Apart’, and things start taking on a rather bleak outlook for an album which we were promised would raise the bar for rock bands world-wide.
Bit of a shame, really. I was looking forward to it. The guitar break rocks, though … Just not enough.