5 Criminally Underrated Riffs: Coheed and L.S. Dunes Guitarist's Picks | Revolver

5 Criminally Underrated Riffs: Coheed and L.S. Dunes Guitarist's Picks

Travis Stever hails undersung prog acrobatics, forgotten hair-metal blasts and more
L.S. Dunes 2022 press Mark Beemer 1600x900, Mark Beemer
L.S. Dunes
photograph by Mark Beemer

Travis Stever knows his way around a riff. Between all the years he's spent shredding in Coheed and Cambria and his more recent endeavor, the emo-punk supergroup L.S. Dunes — also featuring My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero, Circa Survive singer Anthony Green and Tim Payne and Tucker Rule of Thursday — Stever has proven himself a formidable axman who knows what makes a song catchy, powerful and compelling. 

In honor of L.S. Dunes' highly-anticipated debut, Past Lives (out November 11th), we had Stever pick five riffs from all throughout musical history that he believes are criminally underrated. From undersung prog acrobatics to glorious showings of hair-metal swagger, below are Stever's pantheon of amazing riffs that deserve to be blasted more than they are today. 

5. Hanoi Rocks - "Million Miles Away"

The main guitar lead has been one of my favorites for my entire life, but the whole song is an underrated, lost classic in my opinion. Andy McCoy wrote some incredible riffs with Hanoi and beyond. But this song in particular has always hit me since I was young. The harmony guitars on top were what pulled me in as a kid. I like sad songs a little too much.

4. Get Up Kids - "Walking on a Wire"

Coheed toured with these guys during the album cycle for their [2002] record On a Wire. I remember a specific moment standing side-stage and watching them play this song and getting chills. The main lead guitar line is what drives the song. How it interplays with the vocal is magical.

3. King Crimson - "The Night Watch"

This whole song is an underrated classic. The main part that gets me is the guitar solo at around three minutes and 20 seconds in. What Robert Fripp does has been copied by millions of us, but the way he slides up and down the frets, along with the warm tone he has, remains mind blowing. And then the vocal that returns to close the solo is mind-bending and beautiful.

2. Rye Coalition - "Honkey, Please!"

New Jersey's finest. The familiar sounds of Jersey City start the song. The main lead in this song basically repeats for most of the track. The rest of the band changes around as it goes back and forth from open to staccato-style playing, and [the riff] stays the same because it is a hook. It's always been one of my favorite songs to get the room bumpin'!

1. Pretty Things - "Old Man Going"

The main acoustic guitar riff in this song is incredible. A Richie Havens-style acoustic strike but almost with a punk and metal feel — before those genres existed. The playing approach to me is very similar to the way that Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante did with "Breaking the Girl"'s acoustic riff. But that one is not underrated.