Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains
Nov 09, 2009 Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker
Cymbals Eat Guitars make charmingly sloppy rock out of the indie hotbed of Staten Island, New York. At times, vocalist Johnny Ferocious channels Stephen Malkmus ("Cold Spring"), but the band sounds something more like mid-career Modest Mouse or Bright Eyes, creating lots of space to explore and following what would be small touches for another band for a minute or two. It's to their benefit that they don't seem to know any better, and that they're establishing themselves in this vein now, without pressure from labels and moneymen to streamline their sound.
The sprawling complexity of Why There Are Mountains shows a remarkable balance between patience (the half-minute opening to "Indiana") and an ADHD-like lack of adherence to staying on one track (everywhere, really, but especially "Wind Phoenix"). The result is that one can tune in at the beginning, middle, or end of a track and have no humanly idea how Cymbals Eat Guitars went from one to the other to the other. What could be better?
Obviously there is a lot to appreciate about bands that work within the formulas and still create surprises, but Cymbals Eat Guitars will hopefully never be that type of band. Why bother? This is music by the seat of its pants. (www.myspace.com/cymbalseatguitars)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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