Saturday 17 September 2011

Cymbals Eat Guitars Impress Again

Two years ago Cymbals Eat Guitars released their début Why There Are Mountains. It made clear right away that the band have lots of potential. The well received album was full of bombastic songs that were all over the place. They weren't afraid to experiment and were looking for adventure all the time. Now there's the follow up Lenses Alien, that continues where they left off. The foursome fronted by Joseph D'Agostino are showing still to be full of ambition and this album has plenty of energy as well.

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

And they don't waste any time. They open with the eight and a half minute epos 'Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)' right from the start. The track almost isn't a song any more. It's full of twists, loud guitar explosions and more relaxed parts. The noisy middle is exploding before the band eases down and goes back into the theme. What a way to start. After that it hardly settles down, but it stays interesting above all. The album's title has been derived from the lyrics of the opening song:

Betrayers of children exposed by distortions
His property swelling Lenses Alien

Yes, it's hard work lyrics wise and often you need to look up the words of the song. Not that it's very helpful all the time.

No song is following a standard pattern. There are always changes in tempo, a psychedelic intermezzo or it suddenly changes into an eruption of noise and guitars. Even 'Wavelengths', that starts like a normal ballad, has sudden twists. Just like 'Shore Points' that seems to play like a nice indie rock song, but then shows a different face. In short: they are all very dynamic and layered songs. But it never feels strained in any case.

Cymbals Eat Guitars managed to produce another impressive piece of art. In their logical follow up to their début they are deepening their sound and are trying to push the envelope even more. This seems to be running off the rails now and then, but eventually they are able to keep things together cleverly. It's definitely not an easy record with catchy songs or nice sing-alongs. No, this is hard work for the listener. But that repay itself with almost fourty minutes of total joy.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Lenses Alien' on Spotify

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