We're not worthy
You can listen to Coheed on several levels, the most obvious of which are these; you can study the album, the lyrics, the graphic novels and every word printed from main man Claudio to unravel the intricate and far ranging story that has spanned albums.
Or you can just listen to the music and enjoy the melodies oblivious to the subtext, singing along happily in the car whilst making up words to the bits you haven't quite heard properly. This is my wife who loves the band but couldn't care less about a story.
Or there's somewhere in-between, you know there's a story behind it and you've picked up the gist of it but you can't be bothered to give over a portion of your life to dig it all out. This is me and though I like to think in my musical arrogance that I'm getting more from it than she is I may be completely wrong.
So what? Well think about it, how many other bands can write something as progressive and melodic, quirky and complicated, yet still appeal to listeners across such a wide spectrum, they should be either bogged down in their own cleverness appealing to the serious, furrow browed listener or they should be so light that they end up on daytime radio and ignored as pop.
Make no mistake Coheed or more accurately Claudio is genius' I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that if you're reading this you're not an idle browser and already know who Coheed are, if I'm wrong stop reading and go and buy their back catalogue.
I must confess to being a big Coheed fan and I even went to the lengths of sending the editor a death threat to make sure I got this album to review, however on first (and second) listen I was disappointed, NWFT at first sounded like the aforementioned pop, it's earlier songs unrolling in sing ľa- long choruses, bouncy and fairly forgettable. I was not happy, how could they have gone so wrong after the awesome Burning star IV album.
I was a muppet of course, like most things it's not until you give it time to develop in your senses that you start to really appreciate what you've got in your hands. What had been passed off as lightweight began to reveal its sub levels, and each song began to lead to the next in a logical way rather than just being the individual track it first seemed. The second part of the album is the five part and much more serious 'The end complete' which ends this whole, huge and massive album spanning opus and takes a step back nearer to the epic sounds of earlier material.
The album isn't as quirky and disjointed as earlier works, it's definitely more casual listener friendly, but then the older stuff isn't exactly experimental jazz . It is as complicated as you want it to be, listen casually and it'll quite happily entertain while passing you by, but if you want to get all muso about it, it will get your musical neurons firing. You can't say that about many bands.
Claudio is a master of the melody so whatever level you're listening on you'll find yourself singing along, and once hooked you'll be singing your misheard lyrics nonstop. This is one of those albums that you'll be telling people to buy if they show any rock tendencies at all.
As a quick footnote, though Coheed now have Chris Pennie of Dillinger escape plan as their drummer, Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) actually played all the drums on this album due to Chris having contractual problems which stopped him taking part. Taylor does a damn fine job but I'm pretty sure Chris isn't going to have any problems keeping up. Coheed tour over here early next year as part of the Kerrang tour so I'll be finding out first hand. You should too.