I will probably get a lot of shit for this, and I expect most people will not agree with me, but I have come to a conclusion about The Mars Volta. After listening to that new album, Bedlam in Goliath, inside and out for a couple of weeks, I believe that they are the closest thing to what Jimmy Hendrix would be doing if he were still alive today.
I know these kinds of comparisons are pointless, but its just something I have come to hear more and more on this album. Listen to Electric Ladyland a dozen times, then get to know Bedlam in Goliath. I can't quite put my finger on what makes me draw this bizarre conjecture, but its there. For one, the imagery - I have always thought Hendrix was very elemental in his work - he draws on the four mystical elements soo much (Water, Earth, Air and Fire). This is something I'll go into more in a subsequent post because it fascinates me to no end. But really, TMV's imagery is similar. I hear a lot of Water and Air in Bedlam in Goliath, while the title itself seems a nod to the element of Earth. They even have some interesting allusions toward the kind of free form jazz Hendrix was infusing his rock and roll sound with throughout his entire career.