Rodriguez-Lopes, Omar - Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo (Mega Blowout Sale)

Third solo album by the instrumental force behind Mars Volta, this is the most 'band-sounding' solo album he's done so far, with most of Mars Volta appearing on it somewhere.

"...Rodriguez-Lopez occasionally leaves the major label budget behind for some home recordings like the ones on his latest solo offering, Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo, one of four albums recorded while visiting Amsterdam in 2005. Fortunately handed-over with no over-arching themes or alienating concepts or questionable Mars Volta artwork (other than the once again possibility of being a soundtrack), his third album under solely his name is an intriguing affair of mid-fi Latin-jazz-grounded psyche-rock that vastly improves on the foundation laid with A Manual Dexterity. The regular cast of characters remains involved: Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s high-pitched croon is utilized on three of the tracks (exceptionally on “Rapid Fire Tollbooth,” haphazardly on “La Tirania de la Tradiciòn”), Volta contributors Juan Alderete de la Peña, Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez and Jon Theodore all chip in, and of course the now expected two-cents from John Frusciante and Money Mark. All the musicians involved sound very much attuned to each other and provide ample palettes for Omar to riff and wail and rip over with his so ably proficient electric guitar. After two doodling ambient pieces (the kind that made up the majority of A Manual Dexterity), the first proper tune is “Rapid Fire Tollbooth,” a patient psyche-funk number narrated by Bixler-Zavala that should have been what the Mars Volta was doing all this time. With Bixler-Zavala’s unearthly, echoing yelps undercut by drowned soprano sax flourishes, Rodriguez-Lopez first riffs with consciously sloppy wah-wah funk before releasing the kind of finger-bleeding solo that has instigated so many Santana parallels. A slightly more developed ambient piece bridges into the title track, a slowly blossoming song of Latin-jazz piano, mindedly eased electric guitar and un-enunciated vocals from Bixler-Zavala. It mostly sounds like a Tremulant cast-off, which is absolutely a compliment. Another continuously developed ambient number (a pattern is appearing) before we get to the original studio version of “Please Heat This Eventually,” a limited-edition 12-inch collaboration with Can’s Damo Suzuki from earlier this year. Though Suzuki’s growling vocals aren’t included on this version, Money Mark’s Joe Zawinul impression accentuating the urgent, exuberant piece certainly takes it to a new, welcomed dimension. In between the culmination of this every-other-track-pattern of slow-burning, ambient pieces, “Lurking About in a Cold Sweat (Held Together by Venom),” and the questionable psychedelic-punk of “La Tirania de la Tradiciòn,” is my favorite number, “Boiling Death Request a Body to Rest Its Head On.” Like a b-side to Love Devotion Surrender, Rodriguez-Lopez submerges his guitar in watery effects-pedals and lets Adrian Terrazas Gonzales wail on an equally recordingly-restrained soprano saxophone in a Pharoah Sanders-spiritual-jazz manner. With the light percussion and just right marriage of pedals and distortion, it’s the Latin-psyche-jazz excursion I have always hoped for from Rodriguez-Lopez."
  • LabelGSL
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