Friday 3 October 2014

Cymbals Eat Guitars Are Getting Close And Personal

The New York collective Cymbals Eat Guitars likes to ignore the usual conventions. For every record, the band around Joseph D'Agostino, is getting off the beaten track that they created themselves. For their previous record, Lenses Alien, this resulted in a whirlwind of styles full of unexpected twists and changes. It wasn't easy on the listener, but it definitely was a wonderful journey.

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lose

For Lose D'Agostino stays closer to himself and is drawing from his own experiences, with the passing of a dear friend at the end of his teenage years as a common theme. It is somewhat superfluous to state that it turned into his most personal work. You can tell this from the compositions, since the madness from its predecessor is mostly omitted. Lose is much darker, sharper and therefore more intense. This becomes clear especially in 'XR' which sounds like an Irish punk folk song and where D'Agostini is telling about the tragic loss of his buddy: "The songs we never wrote/They float above and below me". 'Warning' is quite a heavy song as well where they are going at it aggressively.

Fortunately this doesn't mean that everything that made Lenses Alien such a pleasant experience has gone overboard. Halfway we find 'Laramie' that starts out slow with falsetto vocals, but then is picking up the tempo and ends in a nice jam. 'Jackson' has the same approach, which makes the song more exuberant with screaming guitar solos and harmonies that will propel the song while D'Agostino sings "I don’t wanna die". The characteristic voice of the singer may not be to everyone's liking, since his shrill vocals may not be appreciated by all. He proves to be a skilled song writer once again though and is opening up completely this time.

It turns Lose into a surprising record once more, that will show yet another side of the band. You do miss the quirkiness of the previous record, the inventive variations and sudden eruptions, that made you play the record over and over again. But this time it is easier on the listener, which could make Cymbals Eat Guitars more appealing to a larger audience.

This review has been published on Festivalinfo in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Lose' on Spotify.

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