Review: Coheed and Cambria

Coheed and Cambria
“The Second Stage Turbine Blade”
(Equal Vision Records)

What an amazingly eclectic mix of sound. Beautiful waves of post-hardcore emotion roll from somewhere beyond my stereo, creating this enormously delicate wall of music. The singer, one Mister Claudio Sanchez, has the recall department of my brain straining–oh yes, Walt Mink. A very unique vocal signature it is too, one that unifies the intricate noise and makes the whole mess even more endearing. I could rattle off bands that this shares similarities too, but to simply cite group references would insult the unique effort displayed here (so, forget I said Walt Mink). It’s at once spacious and elegant while capturing a dramatic urgency not apparent in much of the emo-rock cluttering the record stores these days. Essentially, a concept album chronicling the adventures of the title characters, Coheed and Cambria, through a science fiction tale of heartbreak and redemption, the music is the actual story here.  With every listen, these ten tracks provide an exquisite trip for minds and hearts. Sing-along quirk pop balanced on the jagged edge of shifting tempos and murmured hardcore undertones. Dr. Know of Bad Brains even plays guitar on “Time consumer,” making it all the more intriguing.  I see visions of a cult-like following for this band and live shows that make the hair on your arms stand up, but that could all evaporate due to eccentricities and misunderstandings.  Let’s hope not.  An adventurous release for the Equal Vision gang, with a  result that seems well worth the risk.