Saturday, 7 January 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #8 - Coheed and Cambria, "Year of the Black Rainbow"

We were discussing New Year resolutions at work earlier this week and I mentioned my plan to listen to 500 new albums across the course of 2012. I said I was looking for suggestions for listening matter and one of my workmates came back the next day with a list of bands on a piece of paper. And the name Coheed and Cambria leapt out, as I'd noticed it before. (Maybe because Cambria is another name for Wales?)

So their latest album is my first venture from the list - "The Year of the Black Rainbow". I'm going to try and challenge my modern metal prejudices. Deep breath.

OK, my first problem. Why are the guitars so much quieter than the vocals? It gives everything a brittle, dry feel. It doesn't rock. Why go to all the trouble of getting all those amps and that when it's going to sound so damned polite? I don't trust it. How do people get any energy from it? Nirvana, Sabbath, Slayer - I get it. This is pantomime stuff, and not in an entertaining way. Sorry. I'm getting carried away again.

Second problem: the vocals are so mannered. "Made Out of Nothing" sounds like it could be a boy band song in parts. Maybe they're after the same sense of key change empowerment, I dunno. Comparing this to something like Mudhoney is like comparing the hoarse shouting noise you make when you play football in the back garden as a kid ("And the crowd goes mad - yyaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!") and the swollen roar of an actual crowd.

These albums are released together with comics as well, I think. Coheed and Cambria might be character in these comics. This doesn't do much to dispel the smell of algebra and Dungeons & Dungeons and adolescent farts. I'm disappointed with how little I've managed to keep an open mind; but all these bad images keep pouring in. I am defenceless. I'll try harder next time.

But towards the end of the last track, "The Black Rainbow", the guitar starts to sound a bit more tortured, the bass a bit snakier and things started to look up. I can understand why someone would want to make a hurricane like that.

I really don't understand the language of this stuff.

Rating: Released out of The Basement

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