Monday, October 12, 2009
Why There Are Mountains
Why There Are Mountains is the independently released debut for indie rockers Cymbals Eat Guitars. Heavily reminiscent of Built to Spill, Pavement, and early Modest Mouse, Cymbals Eat Guitars encompass that familiar indie 90’s era with their slow disheveled strummed verses and loud boisterous choruses. Formed in 2005, the quartet hails from Staten Island, New York and consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Joseph D'Agostino, drummer Matthew Miller, bassist/vocalist Neil Berenholz and keyboardist/vocalist Brian Hamilton.
The opening Why There Are Mountains track, entitled “And the Hazy Sea,” erupts into an explosion of noise rock and screaming, but quickly defuses into a more passive melodic harmony only to skyrocket back into an outburst of guitar-saturated bombast. The song moves into a pattern of quiet, hushed moments followed by clamorous intervals. The back and forth bipolar roller coaster ride concludes with an intensely layered concoction of distorted guitars, almost inaudible vocals and gentle cymbal tapping. This track is also the album’s debut single.
“Indiana” features a Polyphonic Spree melody gracefully accompanied by D’Agostino’s nasally adenoidal vocals. This track is probably the most upbeat and “happiest” of the album with its poppy composition of soft piano and bubbly guitar. Despite being engaging and convincing, transitions between songs of the album are seemingly non-existent. While many of the tracks sound like they’ll lead flawlessly into the next song, they usually don’t and are often followed by a track which is completely different from the preceding.
The album’s closing track “Like Blood Does” starts off tranquil and slow-paced, but like most of the other songs mutates into an orchestration of loud vocal resonance, guitar distortion and prolonged reverberation. The crazy instrumentation lasts 40 seconds which is long enough to take someone for a ride mentally. The band is currently on tour with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and we heard they killed it at the Mohawk a few weeks ago. Pick up this self-released album at cymbalseatguitars.com.
Posted by Ashley Cass at 3:18 PM