Archive for the ‘Coheed & Cambria’ Category

[POSTPONED: September 20, 2020] Coheed and Cambria / Chon

indexI missed out on the origins of Coheed and Cambria.  I have one of their albums and I quite like it.  I’ve always wanted to listen to more of them (progressive metal!), but I always feel like I need to devote a lot more time than I have to complicated music.

They tour quite a bit and I thought it would be fun to see them live even if I don’t know their music all that well.

The confusing name of this tour is Neverender: NWFT.  Claudio Sanchez says “Neverender is a special chance for us to celebrate the milestones that have made us Coheed and Cambria,”  NWFT means that they are playing all of their 2007 album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow. 

The album I have is Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (2006).

Now with the show pushed back a year, it gives me time to explore that album a bit and maybe go see them.

At some point about five years ago I seemed to be seeing ads for Chon everywhere I went.  I hadn’t heard of them before, but when I looked them up they sounded really interesting.  They play a progressive/math rock and I love it.  I have wanted to see them live now for about a year, so this seemed like a great double bill.

I would also happily see them headline.  One of these days!

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SOUNDTRACK: COHEED AND CAMBRIA-“A Rush and a Push and This Land is Ours” (2010).

This AV Club Undercover is from last year.  Coheed and Cambria came in and covered this Smiths song.

As I mentioned the other day I liked just about every Smiths song.  So when I hear a song by them I pretty much automatically think, “Oh I love this song.”  And that’s true with this one.  This is a more obscure track of theirs, but since I was never one for just the hits, I know it and like it very much.  There’s something about the propulsive beat and the cool way Morrissey sings “oooohrush” that is really compelling.

But Coheed and Cambria covering it?  Coheed are a fascinating band in that they play beautiful acoustic melodies but also heavy fast metal.  Who knows what they’ll do with this song.

Well, they play it surprisingly delicate , and quite beautiful.  It’s actually a pretty straightforward cover as well.  But he brings a wonderful yearning to the vocals that the original is lacking (probably because of the tempo of the song).  This is a great cover.

[READ: July 19, 2011] “Shacks”

I didn’t know who Jones was before I read this.  Of the 5 Starting Out pieces this was the least inspiring.  (I’m not sure if any of them were meant to be inspiring, actually).  I guess what I mean is it focused pretty on one thing and stuck with it.  There wasn’t any “moving forward” feeling.

When he went away to college he wrote letters to the girl he loved who did not love him back.  That’s pretty much it.

The thing I didn’t get om the piece was his use (twice) of the, to my ear, awkward phrase “little shacks of life we can build”. I understand what he means, I just don’t think it really flows very well.  I’m not even sure if it works within the confines of the piece.  Like is a shack a shelter or a compartment? (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: COHEED & CAMBRIA-In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003).

I had recently reviewed Co&Ca’s Good Apollo… CD which is the part that comes right after this one. I have yet to hear the one that comes before this one (I’m being vague about the numbering since the first album is called …2, the second one is this one (3), the third one is IV, Vol. 1 and the fourth is IV, Vol. 2.  I understand that Part 1 will come out later as the fifth album, so…try to keep it all straight, okay!

Anyhow, as I said, my only exposure to Co&Ca was Vol. IV, Part 1, an album I enjoyed very much, with its combination of metal, prog rock, guitar wailing, and catchy emo-like lyrics.  This record was slightly less enjoyable for me.  I almost feel like they really perfected their sound with IV, and on this one they were still playing around with a suitable style.

There’s something a little tentative about this album overall, and perhaps its not fair to have listened to IV before 3, but that’s what I did.  There are a couple of slower ballads on this one which suit Claudio Sanchez’ voice really well.  But overall, this one seems to be a bit heavier, but also less catchy and less prog rockish….and yet there are elements of both here.  It just feels like they weren’t quite ready to blow our minds yet.

I still have yet to figure out what the story is about. This is mostly my fault as I haven’t had a chance to really peruse the lyrics (and his voice is high enough that it’s not always apparent what he’s saying).  But I gather that it is still a pretty violent story (there’s even a disclaimer at the end of one song to not take it literally, as it’s only a story).

Despite my less than stellar rating, I’m still intrigued enough to get the whole series.  I can’t decide whether to go back to 2 or forward to IV Part 2 next….

[READ: August 5, 2008] Petropolis

I picked up this book based solely upon the cover and title.  I saw the graphic way that Petropolis was written, and I assumed that it has something to do with gas, (petrol-opolis).  Which sounded funny.  Well, my instincts were utterly wrong.  It had nothing to do with that, and while it was a little funny, it was not anything like what I was expecting (some sort of dystopia ala Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan.)

This is the story of Sasha Goldberg, a young girl growing up in the unbelievably named town of Asbestos 2 in Siberia, Russia.  (more…)

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terry.jpgSOUNDTRACK: COHEED & CAMBRIA-Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (2005).

coheed.jpgFor reasons I’m unclear about, I had the completely wrong perception of what this band would be like. I had read a few things and heard from a few people some differing stories. I decided to check them out based on this input, and I decided, against my anal retentivity, to get Part IV of their five part collection. (This is because it was really cheap on Amazon).

So, given this, I don’t know what C&C sounds like on the first records, and maybe they sounded more like what I assumed they would sound like. And, frankly, given the images that the album comes with, coheed2.jpg one would tend to think that deep dark heavy metal is contained within. In fact, I was pretty sure that I was in for a heavier sort of Dream Theater. The imagery of this collection is very dark/scary/spooky, and I was told many times that the band was quite prog-rockish, often sounding like Rush. Oh, and the singer sounds like a woman.

Imagine my surprise then to play the CD and (ignoring the opening string intro which doesn’t signify anything anymore) hear a whole bunch of relatively short, really pretty, uncomplicated songs. There are a number of tracks on this that could be huge hits. As I listened some more, I realized what I thought the band sounded like…they sounded like Queensryche. In fact, they sound like any number of 80s metal bands. It was really weird and unsettling to have my expectations totally blown.

The first 11 songs are, for the most part, short, uncomplicated songs. They have beautiful melodies, and yet often have very disturbingly violent lyrics. (In what practically sounds like a lullaby–“I’ll do anything for you; kill anyone for you.”) There’s an awful lot of killing and threatening and the like going on here. And, yes, the singer can sound like a woman. Evidently this killing and violence is rampant through the sequence of discs, and there is some kind of “story” that explains it. But I didn’t really read closely enough to decipher it.

It’s not until track 12 the indicatively titled: “Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End” that the prog stuff kicks in. Now we have some seven minute songs, we have some complex riffing going on and an occasional time change. There’s also call backs to earlier sections of the album. This was certainly more of what I was expecting, although, indeed, it’s still not THAT heavy. Some of the tracks so resemble Rush’s proggy heyday. Most unusual for me was that the long meandering guitar solo on the very last song “The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut” sounded like it could have fit perfectly as the long, meandering guitar solo in Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” Go ahead, listen for it, I’ll give you fifteen minutes.

The first time I listened to this disc, I really didn’t like it because it wasn’t anything like what I expected. On my second and third listens I started to enjoy it a lot more. I started to really groove to the songs. I also subsequently read a description of the album on allmusic to see if I was crazy, and indeed, I was not. They say that the band is very emo in an 80’s metal sort of way. And, I totally agree. They mentioned Queensryche as well (although they say Operation Mindcrime and I say Rage for Order) and as soon as I saw the “emo” tag, I thought about My Chemical Romance as a recent soundalike band.

As for the content of the epic, I have no idea what’s going on. I haven’t been able to read the lyric sheet yet (as I listen in the car) and I know I am coming way in the middle of this whole thing, so I know that I’m missing boatloads of information. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it enough to seek out some other parts just to see what the whole thing is about.

It’s nice when an unexpected surprise turns pleasant.

[DIGRESSION: BACKSTORY:] When I was 12 my sainted Aunt Lil and I used to travel from our little ‘burb of Hawthorne, all the way to the Willowbrook mall in Wayne by bus. A transfer in Paterson was required, and retrospectively, I am amazed that this little old lady traveled all that way, and made an exchange in a fairly “bad” neighborhood all the time. Once in a while I would go with her and we’d make a day of it. My “reward” for going was that I’d get a record or two. (more…)

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