The increasingly popular screamo punk bands Thursday and Thrice have rounded out their all-star touring roster with the addition of Coheed and Cambria (Co&Ca) and will stop at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium on Friday night.
Coheed and Cambria, who have played with both Thursday and Thrice separately before, are a welcome addition to this screamo -- a combination of "emo" or "emotional" music characterized by bleeding-heart lyrics and hard-core, screaming choruses -- lineup. What sets Co&Ca apart from their peers is that they willingly admit that they are pursuing a progressive rock approach to screamo.
"When I think of our band, I think of it very much as a progressive rock band," said Co&Ca frontman Claudio Sanchez, who is often compared to a beefier version of The Mars Volta vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala. "Some songs are nine-minute epics."
The term progressive or "prog" refers to the expansive, sometimes mind-numbingly long, concept rock, art-rock and psychedelic art rock songs of the 1970s by bands as diverse as Rush, Yes and Frank Zappa, but is by no means limited to that time period. Coheed and Cambria see themselves as prog because of their solo-laden riffs, arena rock (occasionally) sound and complex, tight progressions. But they also see themselves as progressive in the sense that they are trying to expand the screamo paradigm and become an out-and-out conceptual screamo band.
Born out of the ashes of their former band, Shabutie, the names Coheed and Cambria are the names of the lead characters from a horror story on which Sanchez has been working for the past several years. While on hiatus from Shabutie and visiting an ex-girlfriend in Paris, he said, he spent a good deal of his free time breathing life into the two characters that would soon breathe life into his musical career.
When he returned to New York a few months later, the band decided to adopt the character names as their moniker. With the name change, they began to narrow their focus on Sanchez's comic book and horror film inspired musings. The mission of the band became to make the music a conduit for the story. The story is also currently in the process of being translated into comic book form. They hope to release the first in a series of six comic books based on their first record, The Second Stage Turbine Blade soon. (Comic book artist Wes Abbott is drawing the illustrations).
Between the comic books, the tour with Thursday and Thrice and their newly released sophomore effort, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, the band seems to have their conceptual vision well within their grasp.
-- Marcello de Feo
Thursday, Thrice and Coheed and Cambria
Colorado Springs City Auditorium 221 E. Kiowa Ave.
Fri, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m.
$15 in advance, $18 at the door.