Is that a great band name or what? The SF-based twentysomething foursome travelled to Woodstock, NY to record their second album, and ultimately kissed the sophomore jinx buh-bye before giving it a concerted kick in the ass out the door.
Co & Ca (as the band abbreviates it) balances 70s Rush & Yes and hard rock with a flair for catchy choruses & emo-core—all of which is distilled & commingled into a spicy hybrid. The production is spacious and elegant, versus the flatline garage ethic that acts like The White Stripes brandish.
Vocalist-guitarist Claudio Sanchez's falsetto follows suit after Geddy Lee's and [The Mars Volta vocalist] Cedric Bixler Zavala's—against a landscape of gravelly voices that sprout up from grunge & nü-metal, lads who sing melodies several octaves higher than Vedder or Sully stick out as weeds in a rose garden. Lead guitarist Travis Stever navigates terrain close to Alex Lifeson's and Adam Jones's, often enough; bassist Michael Todd and drummer Joshua Eppard make up a very, very solid rhythm section—the drums are well-recorded, not too wet, not too dry. Non-member Danny Louis is credited with additional keyboards, so those must be his orchestral colorations on the guitarless two-minute prelude, "The Ring In Return"—speaking of which, the album begins with the sound of a telephone ringing, footsteps approaching, and a female answering "hello." Emulous of Pink Floyd, Co & Ca knew exactly which tribute to open In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 with.
The title track is eight minutes long, and has moderate commercial potential, but FM radio tends to shun tracks over six or seven minutes (except for "Xanadu" and the live version of "Stranglehold"). A rigid arrangment and vague lyrical imagery are the orders of the day, but much of Sanchez's text skirts Peart-crispness, and his passionate delivery elevates normally suspect lines like Mann your battle stations—give the guy credit, he sounds great. The emo stylings of "The Crowing" and "Blood Red Summer" are succeeded by three songs that form a suite under the mantle of The Camper Velourium; Part III, "Al The Killer," takes the PoV of its namesake with some rather disturbing lyrics, when taken in their proper context. "A Flavor House Atlantic" finds Claudio singing at the edge of his range—a duet with Geddy is imminent. All the while, Stever's aversion to guitar solos isn't all too noticeable—there are some, however, including one in the hidden track (#23)—the most Rushlike, with abrupt, brief time changes, and nearly ten minutes long—that follows the nine-minute album closer, "The Light & The Glass." More of Louis's synthesizer treatments would have been nice in the grand design. Coheed And Cambria flex a lot of muscle on In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3. On their next one, they're really going to be under the hot lamp. Yet, like the saying goes, 3rd time's the charm.
1. The Ring In Return
2. In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 Listen Listen Listen
3. Cuts Marked In The March Of Men
4. Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow)
5. The Crowing Listen Listen Listen
6. Blood Red Summer
7. The Velorium Camper I: Faint Of Hearts
8. The Velorium Camper II: Backend Of Forever
9. The Velorium Camper III: Al The Killer
10. A Favor House Atlantic Listen Listen Listen
11. The Light & The Glass