Chiodos: All's Well That Ends Well 

When I listen to music for fun, I like a whole lot of variety in my song selection. Usually that takes many, many artists, but hey, Chiodos is more than happy to do it singlehandedly. The latest from these Michigan men, All's Well That Ends Well, will either satisfy your eclectic needs or drive you crazy. Guitars give way to haunting piano solos; synthesizers to strings, drums to vocal harmonies. Dynamic shifts that would make Trent Reznor jealous. Chiodos takes a rapid-fire approach, throwing everything into the pot and topping it with the disc's one constant, Craig Owens' Linkin Park-esque roaring. Subtle it's not, nor is it entirely successful; the interestingly named "There's No Penguins in Alaska," for example, comes off as a weak metal attempt, and pales next to the lovely instrumentals "Interlude Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2" that bookend it.

The weaknesses are mostly redeemed by Chiodos' unrelenting skill, invention and sheer chutzpah. Even the few outright failures ("One Day Women Will All Become Monsters," a screeching piece of cheese metal, tops this list) display an ambition and approach that is far above most of their peers. Plus, you have to credit a metal/power rock band unafraid to display influences ranging from Queen to the Violent Femmes; in fact, the opening riff to "No Hardcore Dancing in the Living Room" sounds like it was lifted straight from "Color Me Once." If eclectic's your thing, you'll enjoy this genre-bending act.

--Brandon Nolta

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