Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo
Band: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
Album: Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo
Label: Gold Standard Laboratories
Overall Score: 4/5
Known best for his contributions to The Mars Volta and At The Drive In, it seems like Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is always writing and recording new music. Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo is the first of four albums recorded during his stay 2005 in Amsterdam, his second album released this year and his fifth solo release since 2004. Confused? I was too, but no worries. Thanks to the eighth wonder of the world Wikipedia, my confusion was cured and now I’ll pass down my somewhat understanding down to you.
Apparently, Rodriguez-Lopez moved to Amsterdam sometime in 2005. While there he recorded four albums (Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo is the first to be released) and began playing shows in Europe under the name “Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Quintet”. The songs played at those shows were released on a picture disc under the name Omar Rodriguez in December of 2006. While touring the Quintet’s release he was joined by ex-Can vocalist Damo Suzuki. The songs that came out of this collaboration made-up Rodriguez-Lopez’s first release of 2007 Please Heat This Eventually, a one song EP clocking in at over 20 minutes and six movements.
Now comes Rodriguez-Lopez’s most recent release Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo. Written mainly in Amsterdam in 2005 and completed in California, Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo consists of seven instrumental non-lyrical tracks and three vocal tracks all featuring Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta.
The album opens with “The Lukewarm” and “Luxury Of Infancy”. I say both because “The Lukewarm” is made up of voices and crying babies that resonate through your left and right speakers for about 30 seconds before flowing into “Luxury Of Infancy”, the minute long track of perfectly syncopated guitar solo’s played with an unforgettably haunting delay. If it wasn’t for the track divisions “The Lukewarm” and “Luxury Of Infancy” could easily be one song.
Next up is the first of three vocal tracks featuring Bixler-Zavala, “Rapid Fire Tollbooth”. With it’s psychedelic guitar riffs and hard to understand lyrics, “Rapid Fire Tollbooth” is one of the best vocal tracks off Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo second only to “La Tiranía de la Tradición”. “La Tiranía…” is comprised of two movements fusing classical piano’s with keyboards in the first and an almost post-hardcore breakdown in the second which end the album on a high note incomparable to his past solo efforts.
Of the instrumental tracks, “Thermometer Drinking the Business of Turnstiles” takes the gold for it’s spacey keyboard and guitar effects that slowly flow into title track “Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo”.
This may not be the definitive Omar Rodriguez-Lopez album like some have been saying. 2004s A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One is still in my opinion Omar’s best solo album, but Se Dice Bisonte, No Bùfalo comes in at a very, very, close second. With three more albums from his Amsterdam sessions set to be released in the near future, one can only imagine how much farther he’ll push the envelope next time.