Chiodos

All's Well That Ends Well

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    7
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An intriguing group this, one whose life is building up bigger by the minute, via their sensational live shows, and now with the release of their sophomore album, All's Well That Ends Well, set to explode. Chiodos' debut full-length, The Heartless Control Everything, already excited some comment, but their new album is much more polished than that energized but rather rough effort. Even so, it doesn't make Chiodos any easier to categorize, even their song titles are, at times, misleading. "There's No Penguins in Alaska" sadly doesn't elaborate on the fact that the tuxuedoed birds do not call the state home, "No Hardcore Dancing in the Living Room" contains no mention of maternal concerns about broken lamps, nor do the band answer their own question on "Who's Sandie Jenkins," instead they, as on all their numbers, delve into emotive interpersonal concerns. If Chiodos' songtitles are obtuse, their music is downright baffling, deliberately so. Determined to avoid categorization, the quintet leap from genre to genre, often in the breadth of a single song. The lovely keyboard "Prelude" that opens the set in no way prepares listeners for the metal/hard rock blast of "All Nereids Beware" that follows, until it returns to add classical edges between the roar. Two more such lovely "Interludes" further bisect the set, and in between times, the group unleash ten numbers that swing from melodic punk to emo, hardcore to grunge metal. The songs are exceedingly complex, involving a series of shifts in time signatures, genres, and moods along the way. Harmonies suddenly overtake gruff, growled vocals, metal riffs are unexpectedly supplanted by swooping keyboards, while delicate numbers abruptly transform into driving rockers, and vice versa. It's these unexpected twists and turns, fits and starts, that define the band's sound. There's still no label for such a style, but eventually Chiodos will be big enough that someone will have to invent one.

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