Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Mars Volta - Amputechture

One thing I've always loved about Salvador Dali is how he portrays the surreal in a very realistic way. His meticulous detail emphasizes the absurd in his paintings. While Dali did not paint the cover of the Mars Volta's Amputechture album (it was painted by Jeff Jordan), I think he could appreciate both the artwork and the music. The Mars Volta's greatness stems from their ability to shatter musical boundaries (their music is heavily influenced by both punk and prog) while still being pretty accessible to listeners who aren't up the great musical challenges such a marriage could entail. The artwork reflects that dichotomy of odd and normal, surreal and real that is so prevelent in the music.



Blogger Metal Mark said...

I like it although it doesn't make me want to hear the album. One thing I like about is that it's kind of subtle. Too many progressive albums have just blatantly odd very wannabe artsy covers, but this doesn't. Then again they have become more popular so that might be part of it.

May 17, 2007 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Nice cover. I like what Mars Volta has done with their artwork (like on Deloused...)

-- david

May 18, 2007 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Mark - I agree that it's kind of subtle. I think that's part of the realism of the painting. While Mars Volta has gained a larger following, I don't think that anything they do is geared toward being commercial or watered down.

David - I like all their covers too. I'm particularly fond of the jellyfish side of the Deloused cover. I also have a few picture discs that have artwork reminiscent of the stuff from Wish You Were Here which is pretty cool.

May 18, 2007 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

You have touched a soft spot with me haha. I love the Volta so much, from their artwork on all their albums to their music. I definitely believe they are one of the best bands out their right now, their music is so different and powerful. This is probably my least favorite Volta album (still an incredible one) but the cover is definitely unique, I love the "Frances the Mute" cover even though it really isn't much, it always grabs my attention.

May 18, 2007 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I liked the Frances the Mute cover a lot too. It reminds me of the unrest in Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 80s for some reason. It is simple, but eerie and unsettling.

I think Amputechture is my favorite TMV album. The first time I listened to it, I heard parts that reminded me of Ornette Coleman and that was just crazy on a rock record like that.

May 18, 2007 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Bob - I can definitely hear Ornette Coleman influences in the album. They are so unique how they can fuse such an array of genres together unlike any other band.

May 21, 2007 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I'm glad you brought up Dali, because the album cover is so him, and MV is definitely the Dali of alt rock, hands-down. Good call, Bob.

May 22, 2007 at 10:25 PM  

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