Sound — 8
The Mars Volta, without doubt, have shattered the boundaries of every genre and what music itself can do. Their first two studio albums are must own creations and are produced and executed so well and like no other band in music today, which also provides one of The Mars Volta's only flaws. Their albums being produced so well that they're almost impossible to replicate live. Such is the story of Scabdates, The Mars Volta's first live album. A brilliant band with an infinite amount of talent, forced to bounce around their own songs like they're afraid of them. Not to get me wrong, these guys are masters at what they do and improvising most of their set like they do is something no one else can do, but some of their improvising comes through as random noise rather then song, and names for their improvised tunes such as Gust Of Mutts sound like their was no effort put in at all and just stolen from Dr. Suess. Some will argue and of course none of their songs or their names are conventional by any means, but in the case of Scab Dates, they seem just a touch a lazy.
Lyrics — 8
Anyone whose listen to this band knows what to expect. The Mars Volta have always left a more or less fill in the blank feel to how you can aproach their songs. Scabdates is no exception. Mr. Zavala has no problem with the high notes in parts but in others, again, sound a little lazy.
Overall Impression — 8
Not to take away anything from The Mars Volta or anything they have done, but Scab Dates left me feeling just the slightest bit disappointed. Clearly one of the most talented bands around, and don't get me wrong with the negative points, Scab Dates is a good effort by them, it's just not perfect. Something a lot of people have to come to expect from a band that usually mixes and toils with their projects until they get absolutely what they want. Something in the names and how it was put together just seems like it was either rushed out of their hands and on to store shelves before it was ready.