The Mars Volta: Octahedron (Warner / Mercury)

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At first listen you’ll notice, apart from the long silent intro, that this is by no means an acoustic album as announced by the band before its release. What The Mars Volta actually meant was that this album was “their version” of a pop record.

Gone are the extreme dynamic build-ups and odd-tempo changes. Frontman Omar Rodriguez-Lopez even requested that sound manipulator Paul Hinojos and saxophonist Adrián Terrazas-González sit this one out. But the stripped down Volta does well with Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante adding vital harmonies to the songs. Diehard fans might find this a cop-out though.

Listen to: ‘Cotopaxi’
If you like this you’ll dig: At The Drive-In, Rage Against The Machine