Have you had you're eyes glued to the psychedelic prog-rock message boards? If not, maybe you missed the news that The Mars Volta broke up, due in large part to lead guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's focus on his other band, Bosnian Rainbows. But you probably didn't miss the news, because The Mars Volta gets a lot of mainstream attention, despite releasing sprawling, massive progressive rock albums with impossible to pronounce song titles and weirdo album art.
You see, after Volta released its sixth album, Noctourniquet, last year, the El Paso-based progressive rock group went on hiatus instead of on tour. This made TMV's other half, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, feel pretty miffed, so he publicly quit (by publicly, I mean he posted on Twitter) and effectively broke up the band after an 11-year run, asking, "What am I suppose to do be some progressive house wife that's cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands?"
But hey -- Zavala has his own side-project with Mike Watt of fIREHOSE and Christian Eric Beaulieu of Triclops! It's called Anywhere and they released a self-titled album last year.
This brings us the very important question for us bloodthirsty journalists - who would win in a fight, Bosnian Rainbows or Anywhere? BR don't have an album out until this summer, so we'll only have a few YouTube clips to go off, but we'll try to make this as fair as possible. Alright, let's dive in.Weirdest Names
Anywhere loses points for a pretty bland band name (sounds like they would play "soul-searching alt country" about life on the road) not to mention, its album is self-titled (which is just plain lazy, in my opinion.) Bosnian Rainbows may have a kickass, psychedelic group moniker, but its songs are called things like "Torn Maps" and "Turtle Neck." Yawn. Plus, c'mon, "Kiss My Brown Eye"? What, are you The Bloodhound Gang now?
How can that compete with shit like "Infrared Moses" or "Khamsin"? Just like with the Mars Volta, At The Drive-In, or any of Omar's side projects, if I don't have to Google it to understand it, it's not cool.
Winner: AnywhereLongest Song Lengths
One main reason fans fell in love with The Mars Volta was its stubborn refusal to be radio friendly, "The Widow" aside. I like songs that punch me in the balls and take me on a wailing ambulance ride through certain levels of hell. Few men are as talented at constructing songs like that as Oma is.
Yet, for Bosnian Rainbows, he wanted more concise, to the point songs. That isn't to say they're bad, they just aren't monsters, "Turtle Neck," being the one exception.
Anywhere, on the other hand, only has three songs that exceed six minutes. This isn't impressive, but they still take the gold just for having more.
Winner: AnywhereLive performance
Bosnian Rainbows may have shattered my dreams of swallowing sugar cubes of LSD and seeing The Mars Volta rattle my senses, but can they offer a show as intense as hearing "Roulette Dares" while my brain peaks on the same juices gulped in the Eleusinian Mysteries? Can Anywhere do that either?
Fuck no. But I ain't one for sour grapes, so let's review some live video. None exists online for Anywhere. (I googled forever. If I'm wrong, please supply evidence.) I'm not even sure they've had a live show.
Because Anywhere is totally toned-down "eastern acoustic punk," but not in a boring, De Facto sense, I can't imagine their show would be terribly energetic, even in spite of Bixler-Zavala's reputation as a monkey on an electrified trampoline. Or maybe he's like a living embodiment of those tube dancers outside of Jeep dealerships. Or maybe if you tied an inflatable sex doll to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged it through the desert. Or... well, you get the idea.
Bosnian Rainbows, on the other hand, have vocalist Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes. Game. Over. Right? Lots of women in punk bands are "fierce," but few incite terror like her.
"All You See In Me Is Death" and "I'm Getting Sick Of You" are pretty self-explanatory. "Bang" reminds me of Budd Dwyer, the shifty politician that killed himself on public TV. Not much music can leave you with a haunting visual like that. Gender Bender isn't quite herself in BR, but she still wins by default.
Winner: Bosnian RainbowsActual Fighting Skill
Let's actually get violent for a moment. Bosnian Rainbows outnumber Anywhere four to three, but could they actually win in a good, old-fashioned street fight? Pull out your switchblades, guys, 'cuz here it is.
Even if Cedric could punch a guy with glasses, I doubt he would want to harm his old partner. He'd definitely go for the jugular of Gender Bender, but I don't think he could win. Mike Watts might start swinging his bass at Deantoni Parks, BR's drummer, but Nicci Kasper would immediately jump on his back, bringing him to his knees as Christian Eric Beaulieu tripped over Omar's guitar. The whole debacle would be immediately broken up by security and everyone would come out with just a couple scratches, maybe a bloody nose or two.
But Cedric's biggest injury is ego. Even if he's said he isn't mad and holds no grudge, (so this violent fantasy will remain that -- merely fantasy) Cedric certainly felt some degree of irritation.
Winner: Bosnian Rainbows
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Oh, look at that. A tie. Us Volta fans lose either way. Fine. You decide. Who do you think would win? Argue about it for our entertainment in the comments.
You can find more unnecessary violence at troyfarah.com