Volta do Mar 03>98

No, this isn’t the Mars Volta playing their songs backwards, but it’s still as unabashedly prog. Volta do Mar (which is Portuguese for "turn of the sea”) were formed in Chicago in 1999, two years before the Mars Volta, and they’re every bit as technically talented at interlacing intricate guitar lines over rolling, complex rhythms. The moods on this sophomore album are all over the place, moving from the epic Ennio Morricone feel of opening track "Maricopa” to the fresh post-rock builds and planes of "Hope Wave.” Further along in this gargantuan 75-minute album, which compiles material the band have been performing since their earliest days together with newer works, things get rocked out Fucking Champs style ("Move Sparrow Fast Towards New Season”), slowed down in almost alt-country ways ("Search Lights Burn Cornfields Bright”) and flat out freaky ("Scream We’re Ready”). 03>98 is a welcome addition to any post-rock fanatics life and a nice, progressive step forward for the genre itself. (Cumbancha)