Music News


Although the overwhelming majority of nascent punkers who attended the recent Warped Tour stop at Invesco Field don't know Rush from Russia, those who caught several of the day's more adventurous sets, including the standout performance by Coheed & Cambria, unwittingly absorbed more than a few of this comparatively ancient act's musical stylings. Once upon a time, Rush's trademark combination of labyrinthine art-rock arrangements and piercingly nasal vocalisms was seen as punk's absolute antithesis — the sort of sound the safety-pin contingent needed to destroy. A few years back, however, heavy acts such as System of a Down and the Mars Volta began incorporating many of the prog forms Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart have spent decades honing, and acts inspired by punk's aggression but bored by its redundancy and limitations soon followed suit. Today, Coheed and other acts experimenting with a prog-punk synthesis often sound fresher than their risk-averse contemporaries, despite the fact that plenty of their influences are older than they are. Call it Geddy's revenge.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts