Cymbals Eat Guitars Lenses Alien

Cymbals Eat Guitars Lenses Alien
Cymbals Eat Guitars' sound flourishes on their second full-length, Lenses Alien, where the band set out to influence a new generation of '90s fetishising axe-slingers. The sheer variety of Cymbals' sound and a prog-ish tendency to stack multiple movements in a song smoothly are some of Cymbal's most notable attributes. Another is the manner in which lead vocalist/guitarist Joseph Agostino's singing voice leaps between a grate, croon and whisper, recalling Elliott Smith in his more vocally strenuous days as part of Heatmiser. Not that this is shocking, as Cymbals covered Smith's "Ballad of Big Nothing" for the b-side of early single "Wind Phoenix (Proper Name)." "Definite Darkness" contrasts guitar heroism with a Rhodes that builds well on the formula first explored on the band's debut, whereas "The Current" serves as somewhat of an interlude, sounding likes Sonic Youth at their most melodic. As with their debut, the album opener is epic in length and scope, setting the tone for a consistently compelling musical journey that's cinematic and intriguing in ways many likeminded artists spend their lives struggling to convey. (Barsuk)