Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Old Money

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s Old Money, his first album on the normally hip hop and funk-oriented Stones Throw Records, was recorded around the same time as his other projectrodriguezlopez El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s debut album, Cryptomnesia. Old Money is mostly a venture in dazed-out, jagged psychedelic rock and cascading bursts of heavily-effected dynamic crescendos. Rodriguez-Lopez utilizes a more Krautrock-inspired and repetitive style of song-writing as compared to his work done with the Mars Volta. Slower parts of the album give one the impression of embarking on that typified mystic journey to the deserts of southwestern United States. Strong moments of the album find that special place where the noodling of lead guitars combine with the cyclical rhythmic passages to create a sweeping testament to the power of genre-bending melodic exploration. Rhythm instrumentation often tirelessly repeats phrases for minutes on end while dizzying sonic experiments typical of Rodriguez-Lopez rage in the background. The variance of tonalities used maintains the listener’s interest, but can become mundane static after extended listening. While Old Money is certaintly a success in the fields of sound manipulation and tonal creativity, the fact that these were obvious goals in the recording of this album can at times turn one off of the increasingly over-done sounds of knob-twisting and pitch-bending. (Stones Throw Records, Dustin Danyluk