Review Summary: Memorable, creative although not ground breaking, this album will keep you thinking "what's coming next?"
The second album from those jazzy prog rocker instrumentalists proves to be much more expansive and tighter when it comes to musicianship, living up to the snobby expectations of the many Omar Rodriguez-Lopez fans that will be rushing to hear it. Although Omar himself has not participated in the production of this album it still seems to be a family based venture as it features 3 members of the Rodriguez-Lopez family.
Since the first record the band haved toured extensivley building an almost cult following in their home town of El Paso Texas. Also since the first record it seems production value has dramatically increased along with the time taken to produce songs. This is clearly evident from the first groovy bass line that can be heard in the opening seconds of "Getting Paid" the first track on the record. As the album continues, so does the insanity, the second track "Lock Jaw Night Vision" which features a warped guitar melody sliming it's way over various other trippy layers of psychedelic guitar riffs and at ferociously bombastic drum beat it further establishes the album's sound.
Although "Getting Paid" seems to be the track that everyone remembers of this album I would say along with "The Heat, The Drought, The Thirst & The Insanity" it is one of the sub-par tracks on the record although both are for different reasons.
"Getting Paid" although making good use of a enveloped bass line and thundering drums it seems to loose direction somewhere along the line almost forgeting where it is going. At one point during the song a perfectly decent guitar riff is played over the main riff regardless of the fact the two of them are in different keys, I would say this is an attempt of being "edgy" or unconventional but it simply does not work. The other "iffy" track on the record "The Heat, The Drought, The First & The Insanity" which is the only song on the album to feature prominent vocals seems to not use this fact to it's advantage instead a paticularly mediocre vocal melody and female vocalist were chosen to do the job and franky do not live up to expectations or possibilities. The track would have probably been better off left as an instrumental as the vocals do just not blend with the rest of the record or the song in fact.
But never the less this is a great follow up to a not paticularly memorable record and the band are as tight as ever proving that the Rodriguez-Lopez family have plenty of tricks up their sleeves and while the record maintains the sound that Omar and his various projects have pioneered it manages to go beyond this creating various psychedelic sound scapes drenched in creativity.
The real highlights of this album would have to be:Lock Jaw Night Vision, Guagira, Crushing It! & Mega Slap.
I look forward to hearing more from this great upcoming act!