Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains
(2009, Self-Released)
RIYL = Paper Airplanes, Evangelicals, Pavement

Based on the band name and album cover alone, I was expecting something totally different from Why There Are Mountains. Something more austere. Something, you know, with more riding cymbals and less guitars. I mean look at that cover: where is the bleak grays and blacks and the brooding reds in this music? Regardless of my impressions prior to listening to Why There Are Mountains, my impression afterwards was, “whoa, that was pretty great.” Subsequent listens had me repeating my own words minus the “pretty” qualifier. That’s right, Cymbals Eat Guitars are just straight up great and, surprisingly, Cymbals Eat Guitars are just straight up indie rock. Yep, the name and album cover don’t quite translate, but really that’s neither here nor there when an album is able to pull off what Why There Are Mountains does. With their debut album (I think), Cymbals Eat Guitars has created the only kind of indie rock that can really sustain itself, the kind centered on pure authenticity. Authenticity is a hard quality to identify and quantify, but suffice it to say that it is that it factor that first helped the world fall in love with indie stalwarts like Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and Built To Spill. Cymbals Eat Guitars can stand side by side (or at least somewhere in the same room at a hoity toity indie rock party) with these bands because it’s not just how the songs are written on Why There Are Mountains, but how they're played. There is an urgency, an immediacy here that even brings to mind early records from At The Drive-In and The Get Up Kids (remember them?), though not quite as cool as the former and not quite as geeky as the latter. Either way, Cymbals Eat Guitars succeeds because of the genuine spirit with which they attack their bristly rock songs and turn them into soaring anthems based solely on the excitement with which they are played. Why There Are Mountains is one of those albums that you simply can’t hate. And if you do? Well, I think this album is the perfect measure of whether or not you are heartless hipster snob (test it out on your friends!). I kid. But seriously, what a delicious debut – bravo.


Cymbals Eat Guitars on Myspace
I don't know why I like this video

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