Back in January, The Mars Volta called it quits with the sudden departure of frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala, ending a 10-year run that saw the release of six highly-lauded records (ultimately concluding with last year’s excellent Noctourinquet). But even as the band’s moved on, with Bixler-Zavala forming Zavalaz and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez fronting Bosnian Rainbows, the band’s intense musical legacy continues with a recently unearthed collection of material. Even in death, the band still manages to surprise us.
The 15-track set first began circulating on a forum called the Comatorium, where one user touted access to a “collection of B-sides” with implicit directions to share online. After the tracks began to make their way around the Web, the band finally chimed in regarding the breadth and origins of the material.
“I’m pretty sure the songs I loved playing on (2009’s) Octahedron that didn’t make the record are on there and I’m excited,” ex-drummer Thomas Pridgen posted on his Facebook page yesterday. Meanwhile, Bixler-Zavala claimed that EDM superstar David Guetta served as producer, tweeting, “The recent TMV leaks are from a session we did w/ @davidguetta during our residency at Ibiza hot spot RAMROD.” (Editor’s Note: Admittedly, we temporarily fell victim to Bixler-Zavala’s claim — well, until we saw his second tweet: “.@davidguetta will u quantize my balls w your Eurocentric beats? We could be something fierce babe mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmTHeriously.” Oh well.)
Regardless of who actually served as producer, the collection represents 80 minutes of unheard demos, random outtakes, and B-sides, most of which are bizarrely-titled instrumentals (including “eog-3” “f39h”, and the ominous-sounding “14”). Musically, they represent a sizable cross-section of the plentiful styles the band experimented, ranging from slow-burning prog-rock ballads and Afro-Cuban funk to hazy spurts of alt-rock and, of course, plenty of over-the-top psychedelia. Download the collection via MediaFire.