By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Mars Volta. Whose big bananaspots slip electrically elsewhere: through stabs of light (purple bursts of trans WhoZepYesRush- QueenQueensJaneRageSystemRedHot-
FugaziSantanaAtTheDrive-InEmoScreamo trajectory), which never- theless tend to bounce off crystalline towers of voice, on account of "Joycean wordplay" in the midst of Revelation. It's a challenge, but appropriately so. For inst. (one of their easier pieces), song-title "Cicatriz esp" can refer to headshrink and/or vaccination mark: Either way, you're in goood hands, Mr. De-loused at the Comatarium blackhole-visionary guy. Whose defiantly creative/self-destructive internal cosmography (runs) rings through ricochet-maze/shields of gloved ones Mars Volta's implosively arty art. Once, before artist-junkie-De-Loused dedicatee Julio Venagas woke up and finally succeeded in killing himself, he and ex-Drive-Ins Cedric and Omar were friends, and it shows.
Philadelphia's Dysrhythmia got no weird words (except the name). They're an instrumental-"only" rock trio, which, on Pretest, can mean a theme dreamed like Medusa's hotcombs through another kinda ricochet-maze (incl. not hummable tunes but tunefulness: reassuring/intriguing bait). Sideswiping fusion, prog, punk, and metal, Dys are Deans of Fairplay Rockspoticism. They never push originality or influence too hard (unlike heroes of previous paragraphs). Results speak: "Running Shoe of Justice" was slam-dunk-christened by an audience member, when he first heard the untitled instro. But Dysrhythmia aren't just about smelly ol' shoes, smelly ol' justice; they be mellow. Guitar-bass-drums and back, playin' a little keep-away, like Suntanama, Rounders, and Mars Volta after all. (Smoke signals seem to read: "Soon as listeners think they completely get any music, they basically stop listening." Untrue, guys! [Guys?])