Coheed and Cambria Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness

With their first two records, Coheed and Cambria sought to combine the nerdy instrumentation of prog with the driving anthems of modern punk, all while telling a futuristic love story involving the two characters the band are named after. The whole concept was a little questionable, but it worked brilliantly, gaining the band a devoted fan base of like-minded nerds who appreciated the band’s quirky creativity. One needs not look any further than the ridiculous title of their third full-length release to see that they have completely lost their shit. Bloated, pointless, and a poor reproduction of their past efforts, Good Apollo is so bad that it almost seems like it could be some kind of bizarre inside joke. From the appallingly indulgent introductory tracks — both of them — to the "Kashmir” rip-off that is the first proper album track, "Welcome Home,” the whole album plays like a Coheed spoof, rather than an actual record by the band, taking all of the silliest aspects of their sound and lyrics and upping the ante one million times. To top it all off, apparently half of the record is from the point of the view of the characters, and half is from that of lead singer Claudio Sanchez. Ha? (Columbia)