20 Watts


20 Watts’ Best Of 2009: #14 Cymbals Eat Guitars’ Why There Are Mountains by 20watts

Cymbals Eat Guitars' Why There Are Mountains is #14 on our Best of 2009 List

PREVIEW: VISIT Cymbals Eat Guitars’ MySpace
TOP TRACK: “And the Hazy Sea”

From the triumphant screaming that kicks off “And the Hazy Sea” to the subtle acoustic guitar line that closes “Like Blood Does,” Cymbals Eat Guitars channeled the best of ‘90s indie rock and infused it with a 21st century spin on their March 2009 full-length debut Why There Are Mountains.

Few straightforward ‘90s-influenced indie rockers today have the stamina to last more than a few songs without sounding like derivative pastiches of Modest Mouse, Built to Spill or Pavement. Cymbals Eat Guitars proved they could do more with songs like “Indiana,” which opens saturated with guitar reverb and transitions (in a way somewhat reminiscent of Merriweather Post Pavilion‘s song divisions) effortlessly into “cleaner” guitar sounds, synthesized electronic manipulation, and even a few fleeting horn segments.

Innovation in instrumentation isn’t the only thing they’ve got going for them though. Cymbals Eat Guitars have a knack for crafting both strident, solo-heavy marathons like “Wind Phoenix (Proper Name)” and “Cold Spring” as well as shorter, more accessible songs like “Indiana” or “Some Trees.”

Musically Why There Are Mountains covers all of the bases a great debut should cover, and then some, and thematically, it works in much the same way. The penetrating lyricism of “And the Hazy Sea” make it one of the most interpretably dense lead tracks since Modest Mouse’s “3rd Planet.” Ambiguous references to the George Washington Bridge and the year 1999 steep the song and the band in a mystery which only makes them even more appealing.

Cymbals Eat Guitars did good this year, so let’s hope they continue to do so.

— Eric Vilas-Boas

Advertisements

1 Comment

[…] 14:: Cymbals Eat Guitars — Why There Are Mountains […]

Pingback by 20 Watts’ Best of 2009 « 20 Watts




Comments are closed.



%d bloggers like this: