Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are back at it.
There’s something so rewarding but also so incredibly frustrating about following the musical careers of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. The relationship between the two has produced projects that forcefully explode right out of the gate while all of us simple folks who are not from whatever weirdo musical planet they inhabit wrap our tiny human brains around what we’re hearing. But just as spectacularly as the projects take off, they also crash and burn just the same.
With At the Drive-In, the two set the tone for post-hardcore in the 90s, leaving a trail of lesser bands behind, scrambling catch up. But then as the band released its biggest album, 2000’s Relationship of Command, everything came apart at the seams and they unexpectedly called it a day, right at the height of their popularity. From the ashes, The Mars Volta was eventually born, which featured some of the familiarity of the duo’s trademark collaborative sound, but with completely new prog/psych/jazz/whatever-the-absolute-fuck spins on it. But once again, the two abruptly sent the prolific Grammy-winning project into hiatus. Not being ones to let their instruments collect much dust, the afroed ones put creative differences aside again this year to create Antemasque.
If you’ve followed Omar and Cedric to Antemasque, you might have a decent idea of what to expect on the band’s self-titled debut album—that being some mutant crossbreed of trippy jam punk and explosive funk rock with Cedric’s spacey vocaldelics and Omar’s impossibly mesmerizing guitar riffing. But like the projects that came before it, Antemasque won’t last forever. There’s no timeline on it. It might last a decade or it might die by the end of this sentence, so dig it now.
Antemasque comes out on November 10 and leaked versions of songs have been surfacing here and there. So here is the official stream in its entirety: