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Octahedron by The Mars Volta
Released: Jun 2009
Label: Warner Bros.
The cerebral eccentrics tidy up their format (that means only one eight-minute-plus track!) on this fifth release. But that doesn't mean their approach is any less esoteric. The Mars Volta consider Octahedron their "acoustic album," and yes, there is some very pretty pickin' in tracks like "With Twilight As My Guide," yet when any moment of delicacy dares to impede their need to tweak and twiddle, the prog-rockers can't resist an electrified, shrilling solo or a creepy drone that sounds dialed in from Mars or an ominous lyric like "stack the tires to the neck with the body inside."
Stephanie Benson

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