CMJ Day 2 – Cymbals Eat Guitars

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Bursting immediately into the explosive first track “And the Hazy Sea” off their debut album Why There Are Mountains, Cymbals Eat Guitars rocked an entranced Santos Party House last night. The members are talented, tight players that are quite visibly skilled at their instruments and bring what might be called an indie rock sound along with this precision. What makes them stand out, though, are their song structures.  They have all the normal elements that an appealing new band might keep things interesting by flitting between – guiltless pop, hazy wanderings, and screaming catharsis – but they do so with a randomness that is not often seen. The payoffs are not necessarily in the choruses, if the song even has a definable one, and elsewhere what might seem like a wailing, expend-all-the-energy climax transitions suddenly into lullaby. The set’s final song “Wind Phoenix (Proper Name),” for example, spent some time in summery pop bliss before delving into noisy, flailing jam that seemed like the perfect sendoff for a memorable evening. But the song was not over there, as singer/guitarist Joseph D’Agostino innocently began the real fadeout, the album’s catchiest melody that had him crooning as the ribbons of sweat still leapt from him face and onto the stage. Other highlights of the short set included “Some Trees (Merritt Moon),” “Indiana,” and a new song, all of which had CEG proving how refreshing it can be when a band that’s talented at the base leaps from one excellent idea to the next. They have, in fact, something for everyone, especially the easily bored.

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