Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Song #190 of 9999 - Devil in Jersey City by Coheed and Cambria

Song #190 of 9999

Title: Devil in Jersey City
Artist: Coheed and Cambria
Year: 2002
Album: The Second Stage Turbine Blade

I kind of short-changed 2002 a little bit by not posting for a few days (laziness+back injury=blog stoppage). So I thought I'd delay the start of 1963 until tomorrow and feature one more song from the 21st century.

Coheed and Cambria take their name from a comic book, authored by lead singer Claudio Sanchez, called The Armory Wars. The band's entire discography tells the story of the comic across several LPs. (Guess I should have included them in the concept album post a week ago, huh?)

"Devil in Jersey City" is the first song I ever heard by Coheed and Cambria. Even though I pretty much gave up on listening to Rush years ago, it was instinctual for me to sit up and listen, having digested every note on every Rush album for so many years as a teenager. Although the influence seems clear, I don't think Rush has ever written anything quite this melodic and catchy. (The band themselves says Rush was never an influence.) Perhaps comparisons to Jane's Addiction are more apropos, but Coheed and Cambria lack the sense of humor and looseness of the Perry Farrell-fronted band.

I love the intro-less beginning of "Devil in Jersey City." Sanchez's unique voice is put front and center immediately which is smart. The band gets its moments later in the song and they are really good. The lyrics make absolutely no sense as far as I can tell but they're sung with conviction so I'll assume they mean something to Sanchez and that's good enough for me. Coheed and Cambria are kind of a "small doses" band as far as I'm concerned, but when you're in the mood, they really deliver.

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