By Seth Colter Walls
By Brett Koshkin
By Spencer Wilking
By Christina Black
By Calum Marsh
By J. Pablo
By Phillip Mlynar
By Jenna Sauers
Four apparently mild-mannered dudes from New York state, Coheed & Cambria have now released four sort-of emo, sort-of prog-rock albums. Nothing terribly unusual there, but consider this: Together, those albums chronicle a sci-fi saga involving a protagonist named Claudio Kilgannon, an epic struggle known as the Armory Wars, and a 78-planet solar system called Heaven's Fence. Delving further and further into the confusing-ass story has only helped raise the band's profile: In recent years, Coheed have scored a major-label deal, serious MTV airplay, and legions of devotees who dissect Claudio's adventures online. And suffice to say Coheed's demographic doesn't include many Rush fans: Instead, it seems to be mostly emo kids. Coheed must be a wet dream for any sociologist who gives a shit about pop musicboth the music and these Dungeons & Dragons narratives are a direct corollary to fantasy video-game culture, not to mention a unique brand of suburban geekery.
But you don't have to care much about sci-fi or sociological import to dig the music, which has often been engrossing, expertly played, and pretty damn catchy. So it's a minor bummer to report that Coheed have slipped on No World for Tomorrow. As with earlier albums, big riffs and Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched wail dominate. The rhythm section is pretty hot, and a handful of tunes are great, including "Mother Superior," a ragged, hooky epic My Chemical Romance wish they'd written. But overall, the songs are weaker than beforetoo many feel cheesy, bland, half-baked. Even worse, Coheed's prog jones comes out on a series of dragged-out opuses like "III The End Complete," songs that are like Swiss Army knives where every tool is a spork: gratuitously outfitted and basically absurd. Maybe now that Coheed are done with the quadrilogy, they'll finally make the genius, fully-formed, bullshit-free emo-prog album they seem to have in them.
Coheed & Cambria play the Blender Theater at Gramercy October 25
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city