The Mars Volta
At the Drive-In added another chapter to the long, rich history of Texas music. But no sooner had fourth album Relationship of Command skirted the Top 100 before intra-band hassles finished the group off. Singer Cedric Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez wasted little time in forming a new outfit that would build on At the Drive-In's version of the MC5's more avant-garde tendencies. Having already collaborated with Ikey Owens of the Long Beach Dub All-Stars and Jeremy Michael Ward in ATDI side project De Facto, they seemed prepared to head for new horizons after bringing them into the Mars Volta fold. The quartet released De-Loused in the Comatorium in 2003. Unfortunately, Ward overdosed not long after their tour for the album. In 2005, the Mars Volta returned with their second full-length, the ambitious song-cycle Frances the Mute, which, like their first CD, took its inspiration from rather gothic circumstances: Divided into five suites, it takes its subject matter from an anonymous diary found in the back of a car by their fallen compatriot, Jeremy Ward. The band continued releasing eccentric, complex material at nearly a one album per year pace: Amputechture (2006), The Bedlam in Goliath (2008), Octahedron (2009).