The Mars Volta
Noctourniquet - WARNER BROS.
FILTER Grade: 67%
By Dom Sinacola on March 29, 2012
Anticipating At the Drive-In’s reunion, it’s best to think about The Mars Volta’s sixth album as a last purge before singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López rejoin their former band. Or maybe it’s best to not think about it much at all. Like its predecessors, Noctourniquet is a concept album of kitchen-sink noodling and lousy portmanteaus that makes absolutely no sense. It’s a mess—not without some tidy bits (“The Malkin Jewel” is duly grim; the title track tightly writhing, restrained even)—but what’s better: these songs could be the death throes, finally, of these guys’ unfettered id.