Finding Emo

Intergalactic star wars? Epic dueling guitars? Why would anyone call Coheed & Cambria emo?

Now, compare all that -- the diverse sonic palette, the D&D lyrics, Sanchez's awesome tonsil-thrashing falsetto wail -- to the music of the bands that C&C has toured and become associated with, so-called emo bands that proffer homogeneous, post-hardcore, minor-chord choruses and sentimental lamentations on teenage angst and disillusionment. Sure, C&C's music is emotional, and sure, its sound has that tough-but-vulnerable quality that allows the group to fit in as an opener for New Found Glory. But are those two acts in the same league? Not even close.

Perhaps the most telling distinction between C&C and its trendy, business-savvy peers is that the marketing people aren't gonna have such an easy time packaging an outfit that sings, "Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops." What, after all, would Joe Lieberman think? To his credit, Sanchez doesn't worry about that kind of stuff.

"Maybe In Keeping Secrets has more of those types of radio-friendly songs -- 'A Favor House Atlantic,' 'Blood Red Summer' -- but those songs weren't really written for that effect. We wrote them because we like writing songs. We like the Cars. We just write 'em to write 'em."

But surely, with successful dates on the Warped Tour and in Japan, a steadily growing following, and the band's affiliation with this hip new thing called emo, there must be some major-label interest in the exploits of Coheed & Cambria, right?

"They've come; they've talked to us. We really don't know where we stand so far. We're just like, 'Wow, these people are taking us out to dinner. Awesome!'"
Bear vs. Shark, Vaux, and JamisonParker open for Coheed & Cambria on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 20-21. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Tickets are $12; call 621-4455 or go to www.bottomofthehill.com.

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