One can’t help but wonder if Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has somekind of a masochistic vein. Exactly ten years after THE MARS VOLTA released their masterpiece De-Loused In The Comatorium, the Puerto-Rican-native presents the debut of his new band BOSNIAN RAINBOWS. And of course he doesn’t want to talk about his former band anymore, just as much as he didn’t want to talk about AT THE DRIVE-IN after their split. Seriously: of course, any work of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is somehow linked to his former bands and projects; but in contrast to his countless (and barely consumable) solo-outputs, this new band is definitely worth to be viewed as a renewal. Not that it would be a completely different musical statement or experience, but as it excessively breathes fresh air, it appears to be much more lively than anything Omar Rodriguez-Lopez had put his hands on in a while. An impression that owes most of its urgency to the performance of LE BUTCHERETTES-singer Teri Gender Bender. Alongside with drumming volcano Deantoni Parks she sets up a lot of the distracting vibe that effectively rattles the often suprisingly comforting song-structures. An ambiguity for which Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’ music is well-known, yet it hasn’t been as mesmerizing as with BOSNIAN RAINBOWS for a long time now.
It’s certainly a record of the past more than an outlook on future trends and styles. With multi-layered key-arrangements, the jazz/salsa/progressive-blend guitar-work of Rodriguez-Lopez and Teri Gender Bender acting as the extraterrestrial version of PATTI SMITH, this album feels like a rushed flight over past musical centuries; from psychedelic to punk to pop within eleven songs, paying tribute to some Krautrock along the way. Yet it still finds its own, fresh sounding voice in the continuum between love and dread. Perfectly cought f.e. in Turtle Neck with its rough breaks between revelling affection and harsh rejection. Elsewhere, one is likely to be caught in memories of some 80s BOWIE-records, mainly because up to three of four bandmembers get to play around on electrical keys, even the bass isn’t added by strings but by the keys of Nicci Kasper.
Rodriguez-Lopez’ music has always been the best within an organically grown network of friends – a frame in which his extraordinarily skills and ideas actually entwine some accessible structures. The man who never got tired of underlining that he’s sick of being viewed as the dictator, finally has found a fitting band environment in which he doesn’t has to be fearful of giving away some artistic responsibility. As Teri Gender Bender is able to attract a lot of attention on her own and drummer Deantoni Parks is worth to be watched without any band, the focus is no longer on Rodriguez-Lopez; and the good thing is, that you actually hear it in the music. “I chose to ignore it; thinking I was better off dead” – within vulnerable yet belligerent statements like these, the music of BOSNIAN RAINBOWS develops as an hymnic version of psych-pop, which is capable of spreading out far beyond the limits of nerdy progressive-aficionadas. Great achievement, great band, great record. Democracy won.