Review Summary: Indie rock gets a strong shove in the right direction with this tremendous debut album.
In a slew of outrageous claims, hype, and hyperbole there’s usually some truth behind the force of the Internet's blog machine. Staten Island-based Cymbals Eat Guitars are the latest act to be consumed by the exhaustive succubus of what it means to be a 'hyped band' but Why There Are Mountains
is a record that stacks up against its doubters.
For a band that has been immediately likened to Pavement and Built to Spill, it’s surprising that whilst they draw their most significant comparisons to sources that have shown up on every indie rock band's Myspace ‘influences’ list, they manage to create a sound quite unlike any of their forebearers. This isn’t just a throwback to the indie rock giants of the 90s; Cymbals Eat Guitars are blowing the dust off a genre that has been growing steadily more stagnant since. Delightfully melodic hooks can just as quickly be turned into sweeping moments of chaos and beautifully disorienting clashes of noise are just as easily silenced for a moment of soft piano crooning, displayed in the latter half of album closer “Like Blood Does.”
If this isn’t the debut album of the year, it’s going to take a pretty bold effort to top what Cymbals Eat Guitars have created. Don't sleep on this one. Put your re-issued, deluxe version of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain to the side. Your Built To Spill discography can wait. Open the damaged part of your heart that couldn't handle a world with a bad Modest Mouse album. There is hope here, and it is gleaming.