Saturday, January 31, 2009

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez: Old Money

Artist: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
Album: Old Money
Date Released: January 27, 2009
Genre: experimental rock, neo-psychedelia, indie rock, instrumental rock, space rock
Rating: 7.6

Review: The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez continues to churn out albums with disturbing proficiency -- but this one's a doosey. Old Money is a guitar lover's dream come true, especially in today's age where bombastic rock-outs and virtuosic playing are (curiously) taboo. Some might consider Rodriguez-Lopez to be a bit indulgent here, but Old Money is too good and too much fun to ignore; let the malcontents miss out on this one -- it'll be their loss.

Like the last Mars Volta album, The Bedlam in Goliath, this CD blazes forward with unrelenting intensity. Rarely do listeners have a chance to catch their breath, all while being treated to a diverse sonic palate. The ten instrumental tracks on Old Money bring together a number of influences, from 70's era Zappa and psychedelia right through to Latin music and prog-rock.

The riffs are fantastic and never overdone; the arrangements are constructed with careful precision (including crazy time signature changes, saxophone and spacey synth zone-outs), but at no time does Old Money sound over-produced. The sound is raw, fresh and frenetic --and all performed with admirable skill.

Old Money
is exactly what an instrumental guitar-rock album should sound like.

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