Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriquez-Lopez is undeniably prolific. The self-professed studio rat releases more albums in one year than some artists do in a decade.

His latest solo opus, Old Money, is also his first for Stones Throw and fits the label’s idiosyncratic reputation. While Old Money is Rodriguez-Lopez’s most accessible outing, the instrumental 10-track collection is typically unconventional, formidable and experimentally diverse.

“The Power of Myth” is guitar-heavy hoodoo that mixes knotty progressive rock with flinty hard rock: Zappa meets Satriani. The arcane “How to Bill the Bilderberg Group” is a Middle Eastern and psychedelic tinged treat both sinister and nonsensical.

“Trilateral Commission as Dinner Guests” is a free jazz/prog rock combo that echoes the Tony Williams Lifetime. The nine-minute title track is Rodriquez-Lopez at his best: guitar coils and twists as keyboards skim and slither, while the song relentlessly climbs to a freak out jam that fades out under a flurry of fuzz guitar.

Grade: B



Old Money is currently available.