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Delirious With Weird

Wednesday, August 27, 2003  
The Mars Vaulted…

10.51pm, Wednesday August the 27th 2003. Mars is the closest to Earth that it’s been for 60,000 years, and with a good telescope you can see as much detail on it’s surface as you can normally see on the Moon with the naked eye (how come all the other planets’ moons get given proper good names like ‘Ganymede’, and ours is just called ‘Moon’?). Since Friday when I read the article in The Independent’s Mars Special I’ve been excited about seeing this swollen orange rock. But when I actually saw it tonight… It’s just an orange dot, brighter than the other stars. Pretty cool.

Likewise The Mars Volta; since I read Sam’s excitable surge of sensation captured on paper (by anyone else it would just be a ‘review’) I’ve been looking forward to hearing it, expecting it to be insanity and excess captured on CD. In actual fact it’s just… Pretty cool. I saw At The Drive In’s last ever UK gig at the tail-end of 2000, in a sweaty Camden basement, and it’s safe to say they were fucking monstrous. The Mars Volta push things out that little bit further, and it’s impressive, cinemascope stuff, invigorating and inextricable, but… OH! The thrill of “Enfilade” from Relationship Of Command, bound to the tracks, explosions of noise, incoming, incoming, that floating, almost dub section, replete with melodica hovering just above the railway line, the stupid heaviosity of “Arcarsenal”, the fractured dynamics of “Pattern Against User”… You can only hear it first once, I guess.

When you turn around and see how faint and shimmering all those other stars are though, and turn back to Mars… It really is fucking bright and clear. Rock on, Mars.

8/27/2003 11:14:00 pm


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

All material © Nick Southall, 2003/2004/2005