The former Mars Volta linchpin Omar Rodriguez-Lopez isnít one for the lowest common denominator approach. One self-titled solo album comprised five lengthy instrumentals whose titles were in Dutch and, in 2007, he recorded an EP with the queen of post-punk anti-commercialism, Lydia Lunch.
His new outfitís eponymous debut trades the prog-rock excesses of The Mars Volta for a more song-based approach thatís broadly aligned with Siouxie & The Bansheesí gothic pop. That said, their tuneful experimentalism makes them difficult to pigeonhole.
The textured opener Eli, all cinematic drones and eastern-flavoured foreboding, sounds somewhat de--coupled from the rest of the selections here, and to these ears, the rubbery, somehow dread-inducing Morning Sickness is a much more appealing listen. Teri Gender Bender, aka Teresa Suarez of the Mexican garage-punk band Le Butcherettes, has clearly been an inspirational foil for Rodriguez-Lopez. Her elegantly icy vocals are the main draw on the quirky Torn Maps and the taut, angular Worthless, two Bosnian Rainbows songs that get tantalisingly close to that mythical pot of gold.
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