On 20 Favorites Lists

NEWS

08-23 Cymbals Eat Guitars Stream
06-21 Cymbals Eat Guitars US tour da

» Edit Band Information
» Edit Albums

» Add a Review
» Add an Album
» Add MP3
» Add News

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars are an indie rock band from Staten Island, New York, United States. They consist of Joseph Ferocious (vocals, guitar),Neil Berenholz (bass, vocals), Daniel Baer (keyboards, vocals) and Matthew Miller (drums). They have released one album, “Why There Are Mountains”, which has received glowing reviews since its January 2009 release, and has received the title of ‘Best New Music’ from pitchfork.com.

Aside from referencing a piece of Lou Reed’s philosophy about recording rock bands, the name “Cymbals Eat Guitars” is suggestive of a group of musi ...read more

Cymbals Eat Guitars are an indie rock band from Staten Island, New York, United States. They consist of Joseph Ferocious (vocals, guitar),Neil Berenholz (bass, vocals), Daniel Baer (keyboards, vocals) and Matthew Miller (drums). They have released one album, “Why There Are Mountains”, which has received glowing reviews since its January 2009 release, and has received the title of ‘Best New Music’ from pitchfork.com.

Aside from referencing a piece of Lou Reed’s philosophy about recording rock bands, the name “Cymbals Eat Guitars” is suggestive of a group of musicians infighting, vying for dominance over the sonic field— Reed and Cale on White Light/White Heat, organ vs. fuzz guitar. Well, we’d best put a halt to the Velvets nods so as not to mislead you… Cymbals Eat Guitars sound nothing like the Velvet Underground, and they have little interest in attempting to drown each other out. They draw little inspiration from the skuzzy, minimalist heroin-cooled din that group pioneered in the late 60’s. What do they sound like, then? One could sit around rattling off possible sources of influence for days—the highly unusual and infectious melodies could suggest an obsession with Pavement, the moments of hair-raising, goose bump-inducing, utterly anthemic sonic assault would seem to point towards Built To Spill or Sonic Youth… the streamlined pop of “Some Trees (Merritt Moon)” even suggests Wire circa Chairs Missing. The angular, atypical lead lines channel Isaac Brock on The Lonesome Crowded West. The eruptions of white-hot guitar force lightning scream Ira Kaplan. The tasteful ornamentation of keyboards calls to mind some of the work Leroy Bach and Jay Bennett did together on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Yet, somehow after repeated listening, these obvious points of comparison melt away along with your face, and you’re left with something singular, something inimitable. Cymbals Eat Guitars have, with their expressionist manifesto Why There Are Mountains, opened all the windows in the musty and disused attic of indie rock and roll relics.

Time trials began in earnest back in the tenth grade, when songwriter/guitarist Joseph Ferocious teamed up with drummer and classmate Matthew Miller to bang out some old Weezer songs for friends. Over the brief time span since they worked out demos that they would realize in a live setting throughout their sophomore year of college, after having scored off of Craigslist a brilliant gem of a musician in Daniel Baer, a 25-year-old keyboardist and Brooklynite. While gigging on the Lower East Side of Manhattan they would meet by chance engineer Kyle “Slick” Johnson, whom, after having taken in their set at the Annex in March of 2008 approached the band and expressed his interest in recording them. After a couple of months rehearsal time with new bassist Neil Berenholz, the group would convene for a three-day session at the famed Joe Music Studio on Sullivan St. on Manhattan. In the ensuing months the group would record overdubs at Monsterland Studios in Bushwick, with Slick providing technical expertise and a keen producer’s ear.

The opening six minutes that encapsulate “…And The Hazy Sea” breathe new life in to that loud/quiet/loud dynamic pioneered by Black Francis and company. The listener is first enveloped in an ocean of sound, out of which the primary instruments emerge for roll call— Ferocious’ Jazzmaster, Baer’s warm and crackling Wurlitzer electric piano, Berenholz liquid bass lines and Miller’s loose-limbed, dynamic drum kit. When the vocals finally enter, they are ragged but elastic, gamely hopping octaves and expressively shaping phrases. When D’Agostino screams doo-wop-style, it is as if he is plummeting from a 50,000 ft. promontory, and the band surges up from their earthy country-ish groove into sidereal reaches. After a grand galloping charge of a final chorus, the guitars open up into the eponymous hazy sea, and slowly the track fades into nightfall, with haunted scrawls of feedback and fragmented drums growing ever slower. Elsewhere the band implement weeping violins and cellos (“Cold Spring”) and Salvation Army horn sections (“Indiana”) coupled with the core instruments, the music arrangements on Why There Are Mountains are unequivocally epic. The band presents and subsequently discards formidable hooks as if they were available in endless supply, always shifting and morphing, each song a through-composed work of art.

Lyrically, D’Agostino puts you in the passenger seat on a trip to Cold Spring, NY— “We drove a hundred miles that day to see a Halloween parade/ Skeletal autumn in Cold Spring/ Parents holding hand with Pale Death’s infants shivering on the courthouse steps in polyester robes/ and exposed bone thermals”. He brings you along on frozen, sinister-seeming interstate highways— “I-90 through utter desolation/ I sense evil at the heart of each far-flung, well-lighted home/ I close my eyes and see cellar stairways/ vermiculated with delicate animal bone”. The metaphysical and supernatural are presented movingly, eerily— “See J passed away/ for the first time in June/ and the last time last night in the Warren/ as a warm, round, mournful sound/ flooded my room/ like blood does from the faucets of pitch black bathrooms/ during adolescent summoning rituals”.

Both stark reality and poetic numinousness pervade Why There Are Mountains, often united as one, infusing a vision of our country traversed on “pulsing arterials” with mystery and wonder, restoring meaning to the phrase “American Wilderness”. Why There Are Mountains could be one of those records that sticks with you, that you return to again and again— the type of record that defines many months or year or two of your human experience. Cymbals Eat Guitars are very possibly your new favorite band. Prepare yourself to love again. « hide

Similar Bands: Modest Mouse, Built To Spill, Yuck, Titus Andronicus, Cloud Nothings

LOSE
2014

3.8
6 Votes
Lenses Alien
2011

3.5
89 Votes
Why There Are Mountains
2009

3.8
305 Votes

Music Lists
08.15.14  Wilfred06.04.14  Crammin Jams
08.04.13  Long Songs05.12.13  Tavares MVP
04.17.13  Albums That Should Be At Least 4 On02.11.13  100 Indie Albums
12.30.12  New York City11.02.12  Top 100 Standout Songs
10.21.12  Best Movie Soundtrack?10.18.12  100 Favorite Albums
09.09.12  50 Indie Albums I Like06.12.12  Top 30 Of 2009
06.01.12  Roadddtrippp01.31.12  Aids' 2011: Albums
01.25.12  Jash's 100 Of 201101.11.12  Morbid Thoughts Itt
01.02.12  Planewreck's 201112.29.11  Download Spree
12.27.11  Best Albums Of '1112.20.11  Top Twenty Of 2011
» More Lists (163)

Contributors: MrCoffee, Satellite, Kiran, gaslightanthem, Deviant., Skimaskcheck,

FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy