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click to enlarge The Mars Volta  - Amputechture  -  -  - Universal  -  - Its zealous cult following may embrace The Mars Volta's - Amputechture, but the rest of us are left - confused, battered and gassy (the result of either crazy - time changes or the burritos we had for lunch). Granted, - this is a normal reaction to any of the experimental - post-rock band's albums  2003's De-Loused in the - Comatorium and 2005's Frances the Mute. - However, its latest eight-track disc amalgamates - elements of Santana's Latin flair, Pink Floyd's tranquility - and Mr. Bungle's abstractness into either aural bliss or - confusing din. Despite the viscous rock, the guitar solo - at the end of "Viscera Eyes" is worth the six-minute wait. - It's fairly obvious The Mars Volta are working on a plane - that not all of us can appreciate. " John - Benson
  • The Mars Volta

    Amputechture

    Universal

    Its zealous cult following may embrace The Mars Volta's Amputechture, but the rest of us are left confused, battered and gassy (the result of either crazy time changes or the burritos we had for lunch). Granted, this is a normal reaction to any of the experimental post-rock band's albums 2003's De-Loused in the Comatorium and 2005's Frances the Mute. However, its latest eight-track disc amalgamates elements of Santana's Latin flair, Pink Floyd's tranquility and Mr. Bungle's abstractness into either aural bliss or confusing din. Despite the viscous rock, the guitar solo at the end of "Viscera Eyes" is worth the six-minute wait. It's fairly obvious The Mars Volta are working on a plane that not all of us can appreciate. " John Benson

click to enlarge Barenaked Ladies  - Barenaked Ladies Are Me  -  -  -  - Desperation  -  - What happened to the Barenaked Ladies? These Canadian - pranksters surprised a decade ago with their offbeat and - fun-rocking batch of post-college soundtrack tunes. It's - unclear why the band decided to take itself too seriously - with Barenaked Ladies Are Me, a mid-tempo - bore that confuses tenderness for compelling - songwriting. We get it: You guys are more talented than - pop melodies and lyrics like "Chickity China the Chinese - chicken ... your brain stops tickin'." While lead single - "Easy" is tolerable, it lowers the BNL bar of acceptance. - But what's up with the schmaltzy "Bank Job," which - depicts, in grand detail, why a heist failed? Larceny - definitely hits home with the BNL members, who are - ripping off fans with Barenaked Ladies Are Me. - " John Benson
  • Barenaked Ladies

    Barenaked Ladies Are Me

    Desperation

    What happened to the Barenaked Ladies? These Canadian pranksters surprised a decade ago with their offbeat and fun-rocking batch of post-college soundtrack tunes. It's unclear why the band decided to take itself too seriously with Barenaked Ladies Are Me, a mid-tempo bore that confuses tenderness for compelling songwriting. We get it: You guys are more talented than pop melodies and lyrics like "Chickity China the Chinese chicken ... your brain stops tickin'." While lead single "Easy" is tolerable, it lowers the BNL bar of acceptance. But what's up with the schmaltzy "Bank Job," which depicts, in grand detail, why a heist failed? Larceny definitely hits home with the BNL members, who are ripping off fans with Barenaked Ladies Are Me. " John Benson

click to enlarge Kasabian  - Empire  -  -  - RCA  -  - While Primal Scream lapse into Yankee-blues mimicry, - their second coming, Kasabian, have arrived and taken - the torch of synthpunk barnstormers. Kasabian's - sophomore Empire is best described as a - rushing album  a work of nonstops and sustained - highs. Lead singer Sergio Pizzorno howls and wails - imperatives for immediate change along one keening riff - after the next, while analog and digital drums shitkick - apace. But that's not all; the songs are then given the - epic British touch, fortified with a harried orchestra, - jaunting along at 72-rpm giddiness. Empire is a - manifesto of fist-pumping reverie that flat-out demands - the youth get up and start a mutiny, already  rocking - their bodies all the while.  Matt Martin -
  • Kasabian

    Empire

    RCA

    While Primal Scream lapse into Yankee-blues mimicry, their second coming, Kasabian, have arrived and taken the torch of synthpunk barnstormers. Kasabian's sophomore Empire is best described as a rushing album a work of nonstops and sustained highs. Lead singer Sergio Pizzorno howls and wails imperatives for immediate change along one keening riff after the next, while analog and digital drums shitkick apace. But that's not all; the songs are then given the epic British touch, fortified with a harried orchestra, jaunting along at 72-rpm giddiness. Empire is a manifesto of fist-pumping reverie that flat-out demands the youth get up and start a mutiny, already rocking their bodies all the while. Matt Martin

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