[13 August 2009]
Zechs Marquise is an instrumental band featuring two younger brothers of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, bandleader of the Mars Volta, so it’s no surprise that its debut album is being releasing on Omar’s own Rodriguez Lopez productions, especially considering that Zechs Marquise drummer Marcel is also a full-time member of the Mars Volta and other Rodriguez-Lopez side projects. As you’d expect, there are some sonic similarities to the music of the Rodriguez-Lopez’s older brother, but the quartet doesn’t seem to have any interest in being as willfully off-putting as Omar often tends to be. Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare is, by turns, funky, creepy and rocking. The quartet definitely has a knack for finding cool, little grooves and then playing around with them. Songs like “Pigeon Shit” and “Magmar” roll along in these grooves for about four minutes and end before they wear out their welcome. “Chase Scene” is a funk-rock song with a burning guitar solo and closely resembles something the Mars Volta would put out. But it’s the mid-album trio of “Lady Endless”, “Strapped to the Mast”, and “Sirenum Scorpuli” where Zechs Marquise really shows off its chops. These three songs are all built around variations of the same guitar line and yet are completely different, distinct pieces. Fans of instrumental rock would do well to give this album a chance.