The 12th solo studio release (and the fourth to come out this year) from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the lauded prog-rocker from At the Drive- In and Mars Volta, is a relief from the unrelenting, labyrinthine mess that was his last record, Cryptomnesia. In fact, Xenophanes is actually quite pleasant to listen to. Rodriguez- Lopez sails drifty Spanish vocals over complex landscapes of meandering guitar and keyboards, but he also roots the record firmly with sensible drum and bass lines.
The album is still littered with the wonderful weirdness that’s characteristic of Rodriguez-Lopez’s music: bizarre guitar effects, strange noises, creepy baritone vocal overdubs and occasional psychedelic freak-outs. At times, the structure of Xenophanes seems a bit formless standing next to the musical Lament Configuration that came before it, but it’s still good — even easy — to crack open. Maybe just a little too easy.
DOWNLOAD: “Asco Que Conmueve los Puntos Erógenos” (Nausea That Moves the Erogenous Zones)