This ‘Coheed and Cambria’ article was written by Ben Malkin, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
Coheed and Cambria are back with new album ‘The Color Before the Sun’. This time, the band have stripped their sound, with this record being their least progressive yet, focusing on their other frequent style; bright pop-punk with a a hefty mix of breeziness and seriousness. The approach is very simple; it is the first Coheed and Cambria album to have no concept or story element to it, which is a big change as this is the eighth installment in the band’s discography.
These alterations in songwriting haven’t made a huge difference, though it seems like Coheed are emphasising the fact that they can make really easy-going, easy-to-listen-to songs. For the most part, they do a fine job; with singer and songwriter Claudio Sanchez demonstrating a lot of skill with doing more than you’d usually expect with simple chord progressions.
The song ‘Eraser’ is placed really well on the album; the record’s second track boasts the level of sharpness required to really pull the listener in and keep them interested for what’s to come. ‘Colors’ follows, which is a lot more downtrodden, showing off Coheed’s eagerness to dip into multiple moods.
The further the listener gets into the album, they may realise that when ignoring Claudio Sanchez’s sweet vocals, and the bright overtones of the music, there really isn’t that much that one can sink their teeth into. Substantially, ‘The Color Before the Sun’ is in no way boring, but it seems like ‘Here To Mars’ is the closest we get to a standout track, with its glittering, emo-inspired chorus. But even this song is quite dull lyrically, and by the second chorus, even diehard fans of the band might realise that the album really needs a ‘The Suffering’ or ‘A Favour House Atlantic’- something truly memorable.
The single ‘You Got Spirit, Kid’ is a good example of how powerful and punchy Coheed can still be, but it is also a good example of how sloppy and nauseating Sanchez’s lyrics can be. The ultimate line of the chorus “nobody gives a fuck who you are” is a fine example of how contrived the attempts at memorable, catchy lyrics are on this album; it’s a shame because otherwise, the track is one of the best performed tunes here, and Sanchez’s vocal delivery is really nice, really inspired; though the vocal bridge after the chorus seems far too dissonant.
‘The Color Before the Sun’ isn’t a bad album, it’s just noticeably uninteresting. Coheed and Cambria still display enough talent performance-wise to fulfil the requirements of a few big fans of theirs, particularly with Claudio Sanchez’s vocals, but Coheed just don’t produce enough moments of interest here.
‘The Color Before the Sun’ is out now via 300 Entertainment.