Words About Music
Cymbals Eat Guitars “LOSE”
Cymbals Eat Guitars doesn’t really settle for one specific sound. Their music covers nearly all areas of the expansive indie rock landscape. There’s Pavement slacker distortion, Modest Mouse eccentricity, post-hardcore energy, and the emotional climaxes of a Flaming Lips concert. The New York foursome proved themselves as a formidable indie rock band on their 2009 debut “Why There Are Mountains” and on their almost-as-good 2011 sophomore LP “Lenses Alien.” They’re now back with their third album, the slightly toned-down and more accessible “LOSE.” Gone are the post-rock leanings, as they’ve been replaced with Titus Andronicus-esque indie punk experimentation.
“LOSE” is part three of a pretty great discography. Cymbals Eat Guitars isn’t the most original sounding band in the world, but they’ve got more than a modicum of ambition when it comes to song craftsmanship. It almost sounds like if Conor Oberst was the singer of Cloud Nothings (that’s a pretty bad description, but I don’t know how best to describe what they’ve got going on). This band isn’t particularly complicated and may seem boring or unmemorable to some, but I like their music and “LOSE” is no exception. I don’t think indie rock fans should really have any problem with what the band is doing here or has done for the past five years.
Cymbals Eat Guitars sit at a fine line between out-there experimental avant-garde and run-of-the-mill emotional indie rock. Some of the songs are long and feature periods of ambience and shoegazing. Other songs are shorter and more typical. The band makes it work, though, as they all sound like songs made by the same band. If “LOSE” is anything, it’s a consistent record that could potentially be a gateway album for people looking to try out more experimental music. The band does sometimes remind me a bit too much of Titus Andronicus, though, especially on the multi-movement 8-minute song “Laramie.”
For the most part, “LOSE” is a decent-to-great album from a band that, while not always incredibly creative or one-of-a-kind, is still fun to listen to. I’m not going to say I love it because not many of the songs really stick with me or catch my ear on repeat listens. It’s consistent, but no particular song really strikes me as the one. If you like one song on here, you’re bound to like them all. They’re sort of like a less catchy version of Spoon. Otherwise I don’t see anything wrong with this band or this album. It’s enjoyable, just not quite exceptional.
SCORE – 7.7
FAVORITE TRACKS – Jackson, XR, Place Names, Laramie, Chambers, 2 Hip Soul