Form and structure are not something that the Mars Volta have placed a premium on with their songs and albums and that's to their credit. Rather, they craft stream-of-consciousness songs, which are free-jazz, neo-prog compositions that always keep fans guessing. Such is the case with the non-linear and incredibly quirky 'The Malkin Jewel,' the first single from their forthcoming sixth album, 'Noctourniquet,' due out March 26.

'The Malkin Jewel' is just over four minutes of unconventional rock, with an epic coda that features computerized blips and beeps, but the song never embodies that cold, sterile or synthetic "laptop rock" style. 'The Malkin Jewl' has a pulse and it brings heat, simply capturing your attention and holding onto it, as you anticipate what the duo behind the instruments will do next.

The rest of the song features layered, high-pitch harmonies delivered by Cedric Bixler-Zavala and strange passages that give off a carnivalesque vibe.

The song is nebulous, amorphous and shape-shifting, but that's what TMV fans have come to expect and desire from the band. 'The Malkin Jewel' is another quality addition to the band's complex and much-loved canon. We're happy to report that they haven't lost their edge by deciding to make their songs easy to digest. They keep us on our toes.


Listen to The Mars Volta 'The Malkin Jewel'