The Mars Volta

Frances the Mute
(Universal)

Jane's Addiction fans reached for the Zeppelin, and Strokes fans uncovered the Velvet Underground. All's well in geekdom. But now El Paso, Texas, outfit the Mars Volta returns with a second full-length, challenging indie rawkers to reference their . . . King Crimson and Yes albums?!? Frances the Mute is all about hitting prog-rock's suite spot, with its five songs six to 30 minutes in length and bearing knotty Latin flourishes, piano and string arrangements, horn howls, and strangulated riffs unfolding in a lavishly wrought hydra. For fans of convoluted, indulgent musical mitosis, Frances the Mute will leave you saying, "Shine on, you crazy diamonds."
 
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