20 Watts


Emerging Artists: Cymbals Eat Guitars by carlywolkoff

It’s hard to believe that Cymbals Eat Guitars formed only a little over a year ago.  It’s even harder to believe that the band wouldn’t exist as it does today without the use of Craigslist.  Despite these doubt-inducing facts, Cymbals Eat Guitars’ debut album, Why There Are Mountains actually surpasses the hype—of which there’s been plenty.

I’ve tried to come up with a similar artist to Cymbals Eat Guitars for a while, and I can’t, which is probably a good thing.  The band’s two founding members, Joseph Ferocious (Joe D’Agostino) and Matthew Miller started out as many bands do—high schoolers playing Weezer covers.  Yet, as far as I can tell, the remnants of those days are virtually undetectable; Cymbals Eat Guitars’ sound is as original as its Craigslist beginning.

This blurb on their Myspace page better describes their unique sound than I ever could: “Aside from referencing a piece of Lou Reed’s philosophy about recording rock bands, the name “Cymbals Eat Guitars” is suggestive of a group of musicians infighting, vying for dominance over the sonic field— Reed and Cale on White Light/White Heat, organ vs. fuzz guitar.”  Though Cymbals Eat Guitars is not too reminiscent of The Velvet Underground, this harmonious clash of instrument and vocals, to quote Lou Reed, “tickle[s] me down to my toes.”

My favorite track off the album is definitely “Cold Spring.”  The tornado-like crescendo of Joseph Ferocious’ vocals around :47 is pleasantly dizzying.  This is a common occurrence throughout the album; Ferocious’ voice, as well as the instrumentals, switches from sleep-enticing lows to staggering highs all in a matter of seconds and it never ceases to shock.  An added bonus is the lyrics, which are so poetic and enigmatic, they border on Ginsberg-like rants, especially in “Wind Phoenix.” The album in its entirety is just undeniably good, down to every last detail.  So, why are there mountains?  I guess so indie rock  bands like Cymbals Eat Guitars can conquer every last one of them.

-Carly Wolkoff

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