Pretentiously Beautiful

In cultureShock, Entertainment by Erich Cella

It’s become very difficult to anoint the next Nirvana or the next Metallica, during the past few years, due to either a shallowness in the talent pool or just a corporate overhaul of the music business.

I’m not usually someone that prefers to treat musicians or bands as icons or purveyors of cultural impact but it helps to have soul and project that onto other bands that need help digging out the remnants of concrete that exists after a constant scratching and constant clawing at a wall that has repressed their true expression.

To influence others without selling out and sticking to your guns is commendable and will eventually be emulated, thus, creating a scene. An upcoming 75 minute rebirth is the tool that can finally loosen the rusty screws inhabited within the damp oak and plant the seeds of originality.

After releasing their 2003 debut, I was immediately floored by their totally oblivious approach to writing rock songs and balls to play long guitar solos or having the song come to a complete halt.

You can talk about their quirkiness all day long but the culmination of their immense talent at such an early stage of their careers, is unmatched by any band in a decade.

The high pitched screeching and emotional beating lead singer, Cedric Bixler, takes in the recording studio gives you the feeling that he believes every single words that passes through his epic vocal chords.

Cedric is so inventive and rhythmically engineered that he can perfectly weave his screams in and out of every hook without being overbearing, unlike his obnoxious style in his previous band. He actually pulls off a track, performed in Spanish, and it does nothing but enhance his smooth, angelic voice.

As always guitarist, Omar Rodriguez, puts his stamp on the new record by showcasing his psychedelic, rapid string painting that were accustomed to.

“France the Mute” is the follow up to their gold debut and is based on themes such as abandonment and self exploration.

That may be quite vague, but what else would you expect from these self absorbed menaces. If they explained themselves the gig might be up and their lyrics would be completely disregarded or poked fun at.

The second record is meant to be a continuous opus but the record has 5 tracks and the last song comes in at a whopping 31 minutes, so patience may be a virtue. With the inclusion of salsa style and a more upbeat energy level, they built upon what was already there but learned and grew up with more tightness in their overall sound.

The rampant drums and attack first mentality are always accompanied by great depth and subtlety and pumps you up with a shot of adrenaline. To be able to create a catchy song without convention is almost unheard of but the honed in musical ability that each participant posses make for a seamless harmony.

To go along with the talent, their confidence and swagger exuded by these great musicians, makes them seem untouchable or larger than life in so many facets.

This is a pretentious band, so there are going to be times of frustration from the sudden stoppages or length of the songs, but you’ll appreciate it after only a few listens. It’s much more accessible than the first album but still inspires the artistic sides in all of us.