The Mars Volta were a band that, surprisingly, began with strong ties to a much more popular, orthodox group: The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Members Flea and John Frusciante both played on MV's debut album, the now-legendary De-Loused in the Comatorium, and now it seems that they've rekindled the old flame. Just months after Frusciante debuted a new supergroup with MV guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López, Flea has teamed with López, as well as Volta's other core member, singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and the band's former drummer, Dave Elitch, to form Antemasque. Listen to their first track, "4AM," above.
When compared with Volta, the band's former incarnation as post-hardcore titans At The Drive-In, or Frusciante's Kimono Kult group, "4AM" has a shockingly meat-and-potatoes approach to rock music. Almost entirely absent are the proggy excesses that so defined MV's later years, which can be almost immediately inferred by the less than three minute runtime of "4AM," and in their place is a driving, heavy slice of straightforward alt rock. A brief, catchy rock song in a 4/4 time signature is about the last thing you'd expect from Rodríguez-López, whose usual insistence on mining the experimental reaches of guitar-based music has led some (including himself) to dub him a "real bastard," but he wears it well.
For more Antemasque, check out the "behind the scenes" video they premiered on ESPN, as well as a video explaining the "creative process" behind "4AM." Purchase "4AM" on Amazon, and stay tuned for information about an Antemasque album.