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The Mars Volta's Best Songs

Top 30 ranked yeah.
30The Mars Volta

I really dig the classic-rock vibe of this track. An interestingly chaotic finale to


I tend to disregard this song in favor of the more jammy songs on Deloused, but
it's still really solid and serves as a necessary break before the chaotic closer.

It's a little long, and the truncation between sections is a little jarring, but it
winds up being one of the most explosive and exciting tracks on Bedlam. It
really doesn't act like an almost 10-minute song.

In the context of Octahedron, this song doesn't really work. But by itself, it's
really exciting. The verses really groove for a song in 11/8.
25In Absentia

This song is so weird but it works. It's like if TMV made shitty club music.
24Conjugal Burns

23The Widow

One of Cedric's strongest vocal performances.
22Inertiatic ESP

I've listened to this song way too much, but it's definitely one of their signature
songs and is really effective in its moseying simplicity.
21Wax Simulacra

So much chaos in such a short song.
20Zed and Two Naughts

The glitchy electronic/dubstep/whatever combines with soaring vocal harmonies
and a ridiculously effective synth to make this sound like a goddamned Sonic
the Hedgehog soundtrack. So in other words, tits.

A pretty standard song by TMV's standards. Really strong hook here in spite of
(or perhaps because of?) Cedric's best Elmo impression.
18Desperate Graves

The quiet sections of this song aren't as interesting to me as a song which will
features later in this list, but the chorus is one of the most explosive and
exciting TMV have written.

Similarly to Molochwalker, one of the most standard songs TMV have done since
Deloused. It actually harkens back to At the Drive-In at times, the chorus

One of their most underrated tracks in my opinion, and one of my favorites on
Octahedron. I'd go so far to say it's the prettiest song they've ever recorded. It's
slightly repetitive, but the electronic elements thrown into the middle and the
piano in the outro work well in supplying variety.
15Drunkship of Lanterns

I mean...seriously this just jams so goddamned hard.
14With Twilight As My Guide

I would probably consider Octahedron TMV's most consistently enjoyable and
solid record, but at the same time, its inoffensiveness leaves it without any true
highlights. Still, With Twilight As My Guide is a damn good song, and one of the
prettiest they've written. And unlike a track like "Since We've Been Wrong", it
isn't hindered by its repetitiveness.

12L'Via L'Viaquez

John Goddamned Frusciante everybody!
11Frances the Mute

The "true" opener of Frances? There's not a whole lot of actual song in the near
15-minutes of this track, but the song sections are spread throughout the
ambiance and ringing bell sounds in a way that makes them work really well
10Viscera Eyes

And Amputechture finally makes an appearance! It's mostly a bullshit album
that I could never get into, but they did manage to make two of their best 10
songs with it. The first six minutes exemplify TMV at their most 70s prog/King
Crimson-ness before it concludes with one of their prettier instrumental
9Cicatriz ESP

I still think the ambient section of this song is a few minutes too long...but
conversely its length does make the segue into the salsa Santana-esque section
much more exciting and cathartic. And the final chorus...fuck.
8Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt

I seem to be using exciting a lot when describing Deloused, but really, Take the
Veil has one of the most exciting choruses ever. Jams so hard.

Bedlam had a lot of bullshit on it, but they still managed to make one of their
absolute greatest songs with the pseudo title-track.

The start contrast between the verses and the absolutely explosive chorus
always got me.
5Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)

Deloused was such a jammin' goddamn album, best exemplified by this track.
4Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Song

Easily my favorite song on Noctourniquet. TMV certainly aren't known for their
beauty, but this song is pretty goddamn pretty what with the lush glitch
electronics and Cedric's much-more-subdued-than-usual singing. 4:30 to the
end of the song is absolutely brilliant.
3Day of the Baphomets

This song makes me hate how much the rest of Amputechture sucks. The
rolling bass intro into the horn explosion is one of the most exciting moments in
any of their songs. Lots of shifting atonal guitar lines. The percussion breakdown
about 10 minutes is also really fucking cool.
2Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus

Though it might not be the "true" opener to Frances, Cygnus does a really great
job of the starting out the actual LP. TMV were really at their rhythmic peak
with Frances and Deloused, the whole band jams so hard in this track, and as
great as Pridgen is, tracks like this one solidify Jon Theodore as my favorite Mars
Volta Drummer. Also hearing Cedric sing so infectiously in spanish makes me
feel guilty for being a racist.
1Cassandra Gemini

Somehow the 30+ minute length ends up being justified. Even the long
ambient section before the conclusion is immersive. There's just so much going
on and there are about six different ridiculous hooks and lots of tr00 prog
jamming and it's so good.
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