The first indie bands I connected with weren’t OG heavyweights like Pavement and Sonic Youth, but the mid-‘90s acts that they went on to inspire. Pacific Northwest bands like Built to Spill and Modest Mouse took the music of their slacker progenitors and infused it with sweeping naturalism and drunken emotionality; no one but Isaac Brock could have written a song as simultaneously fatalistic, funny, and philosophical as “Talking Shit on a Pretty Sunset.” I mention these bands because New York/New Jersey indie-rock throwback outfit Cymbals Eat Guitars are built from the same stuff—darkly rhuminative, and with similarly epic ambitions.
“Definite Darkness” is the first single from Cymbals Eat Guitars’ upcoming sophomore LP Lenses Alien, and has all the guitar jabs, tempo changes, and soaring open-air vocals that made their first record so enjoyable. The specter of a lost, idealized America surrounds each word that escapes lead singer Joseph D'Agostino’s mouth. His lyrics contain Brock’s profound, rapid-fire poetics matched with Doug Martsch’s honeyed delivery. When D’Agostino sings, “The roads there are parabolas with nameless water towers near the exits” you have can’t help but imagine the boundless infinity of a lonely highway. This is music for a journey without a destination.
Cymbals Eat Guitars—Lenses Alien
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