The Mars Volta

The Bedlam in Goliath

It’s an age-old story: Boy gifts Ouija board to band mate, they use it, meet a few metaphysical beings who wreak havoc on their daily lives-floods, mental instability, a locust or two-boy buries Ouija board to dispel evil mojo, and band finishes its fourth full-length. For The Mars Volta, this fable fodder makes for another solid concept album. Upon first listen, The Bedlam in Goliath seems like a tiring oddity of jazz fusion and pop-inspired prog rock. It’s hard to like in a single sitting and easy to cast off as yet another record that falls short of De-Loused in the Comatorium. But for Volta fans, Bedlam‘s mastery rests in its haunting innovation-tumbling vocals, brilliant imagery, and mixing that complements new drummer Thomas Pridgen. Standouts like “Metatron” and “Wax Simulacra” are reminiscent of where the band was in composition and melodic structure, while “Cavalettas” and “Ouroburous”-75 minutes of cacophonous mess-hint at something ominously forward.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Dyer Returns as Interim Fire Chief

When Eric Peterson steps down, Mike Dyer will fill in for County Fire.

Santa Barbara Bodybuilder Wins Mr. Olympia Competition

At 43, Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden ties for the oldest champ in the contest's history.

Renovated Cabrillo Ball Park Now Open

The park got new exercise equipment, multi-use grass turf areas, and an upgraded softball field.

UCSB Researcher Charged with Molesting Child on Campus

Dr. Hongjun Zhou was arrested September 6.

Teen Serial Robber Caught and Confesses

The suspect was identified through an anonymous tipster.