Omar Rod-Lop's Old Money




The Mars Volta’s
guitarist serves up another solo helping.

By Blurt Staff


Yesterday Stones Throw Records digitally released Mars Volta
guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s solo album, Old Money. Although it is his umpteenth solo release, it’s the
first for the label. Omar has intimated that the album may have been intended
as The Mars Volta’s follow-up to 2006’s Amputechture until he veered in another musical direction. More details, ripped from the
press release: 


The addictive melodies
and passionate execution of each performance render
Old Money perhaps the most
accessible of his non-Volta recordings, and the perfect entry point to anyone
not yet familiar with what this prolific artist has to offer.


The album fits
comfortably between the guitarist’s monumental work with The Mars Volta, and
his prior rock-based solo releases such as 2007’s
The Apocalypse Inside Of
An Orange. Loosely based on the concept
of exploitative industrialists and, well, their old money, the album presents a
10-track collection of concise rock compositions, which range from progressive
to psychedelic to downright funky. Many of these sounds could easily be at home
on a Volta record proper had they meshed with Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s vocals;
Rodriguez Lopez has hinted that this record was a potential follow up to the
2006 Volta release
Amputechture until
he changed his musical direction.


Through the assistance
of many of the players familiar to any fan of his “day gig”,
Rodriguez Lopez goes straight for the jugular with an unrelenting trio of
opening tracks: the lead-in “The Power of Myth,” the haunting, Middle
Eastern-psych flavored “How to Bill the Bilderberg Group,” and the
blistering “Population Council’s Wet Dream.” The results are
formidable and easily rank among the most exciting moments of Rodriguez Lopez’s
solo output. The remainder of the album is equally as memorable and certainly
the product of acute inspiration on behalf of its creator. Though clear
influences of popular ensembles such as Pink Floyd and Santana can be
discerned, a deeper study reveals the cross-continental influence of Israeli
garage psych heroes The Churchills, French proggers Ame Son and Magma and
Turkish guitar-god Erkin Koray – amongst others.





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