Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, ‘Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far)’ (N2O)
With the fourth in a series of albums written during a creative burst in Amsterdam, the Mars Volta guitarist forgoes his usual proggy pyrotechnics for a trek into dubby textures and hard drum breaks. Well, at least that’s the theory: In execution, Calibration sounds like Volta’s recent The Bedlam in Goliath with a bank of electronics cooking behind it — particularly the vocoder-warped title freakout. (Personnel on both albums is nearly identical, too, including partner Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante.) The Bedlam in Goliath may have been the band’s weirdest, most difficult release to date, but you’ll need a cryptologist to decode this one.