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Coheed and Cambria
THE SECOND STAGE TURBINE BLADE
(EQUAL VISION)

Stars graphics

With this colorful debut album, upstate New York melodic-hardcore kids Coheed and Cambria have risen to the top of the all-ages rock underground. The band owe an obvious debt to the Sunny Day Real Estate school of pop melodrama: frontman Claudio Sanchez is a flamboyant, falsetto-happy singer, and the guitars deftly split the difference between indie minor-key melancholy and metal crunch.

The Second Stage Turbine Blade even has a concept: according to the band, the disc is the first in a series that will tell the ongoing story of the boy-girl duo Coheed and Cambria. That may sound a little pretentious, but the tunes all rock. Like most of their songs, the discís opener, "Time Consumer," exceeds five minutes while spinning a much more complicated narrative than your average punk song. Itís a challenge Coheed and Cambria are up to pulling off: Claudio leads a cathartic sing-along, and legendary Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know shows up at the end with one of his patented jazz-metal outbursts. The band display a knack for building monster hooks out of dense vocal arrangements, and an unlisted acoustic emo hidden track provides an appropriately cryptic epilogue. Hardcore never asked for its own 2112, but it may have just gotten it.

(Coheed and Cambria open for Hot Water Music this Sunday, October 13, at the Palladium in Worcester. Call 508-797-9696.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON

Issue Date: October 10 - 17, 2002
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