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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains

New York’s Cymbals Eat Guitars took their name from a Lou Reed quote and, judging by the first couple of minutes of opening track ...And the Hazy Sea, would appear to have taken their sound from Pavement. However, just when you’d expect this nicely angular indie affair to wind down at the three-and-a-half minute mark, it evolves into a huge Arcade Fire-style barrage of sound. At over six minutes, it’s an ambitious and interesting start and is indicative of the genuinely unpredictable arrangements throughout. What starts in one camp might very well end up somewhere completely different. For instance, Indiana segues from shoegazing atmospherics into perky indie-pop with pianos and horns.

In an age when gratification needs to be immediate, Why There Are Mountains is something of a rarity, as it is the very definition of a grower. Because it is crammed so full of ideas and because it sprawls in so many directions, anyone looking for instant accessibility might struggle. But to give this album time is to discover something that manages to be ambitiously crafted without feeling self-indulgent or pompous. It is also reminiscent of its influences (Pavement, Built To Spill, Modest Mouse) without sounding too derivative. And something so epic has no right to sound this visceral and raw.

In the old-fashioned spirit of a long-player being a body of work that takes time and effort to fully appreciate, Why There Are Mountains is a fine record that gets better with every listen. The fact that it is their debut album makes it all the more impressive.

3 comments:

Rhys said...

Saw these guys in New York last May, they were good live, most of their songs were played as you describe them, they really take off in different directions and any juncture!

Bobby Six said...

New York? Fancy! I'd certainly like to see them live. Hopefully they'll head out here sometime in the near future.

Rhys said...

You know me Bobby! Just thought I'd drop that in there. NEW YORK. IWASINNEWYORK!