as with 2006's Amputechture, the album that first got me into TMV (the samples i heard from the first two full-length albums always suggested too much of At the Drive-In to me and i freely admit that i could never push myself to give either De-Loused or Frances a proper effort), Cedric Bixler Zavala's lyrics here are awfully forgettable and more likely than anything to elicit a thoroughly sincere 'eh?' still, by the second run of 'maybe i'll breakdown/maybe i'll try/circumvent inoculation' &c, i'm trying (i said the lyrics were forgettable didn't i?) to sing along as well as nodding my head to every funky downbeat i can catch (which isn't easy, by the way, but a bit easier than on Amputechture). CBZ throws words together with a kind of Durrellian abandon: regardless of what they mean, it's hard to argue with the fact that the lyrics, unintentionally funny or not, do, in fact, fit, nestling comfortably in the liberal noodlings of the rest of the band.
on first listen, trying to convince myself i wasn't always going to buy the CD the moment i saw the Jeff Jordan artwork by sampling it first at the HMV listening station, Bedlam struck me as Amputechture amped. a closer listen suggests maybe these guys are trying to rein things in a bit after all. don't get me wrong, the songs are as chaotic as ever and i've yet to hear a prog rock band as visceral and compelling (viscerally compelling?) as TMV, but there's a tighter proginess to this album that suggests, say, Metropolis rather than Erotomania (Dream Theater anyone? no? ah well).
but enough of my wanking about with things beyond my ken. have a gander at what's being said here, over at punknews.org:
with bands like TMV, you get the full entertainment package: music, lyrics, album art, rabid internet snarkery.