Cymbals Eat Guitars, 'Lenses Alien' (Barsuk)

Lenses Alien
Critical Mass
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Label: Barsuk

by Josh Modell

Old-school indie purists could use a modern hero, and while it may be unfair to peg Cymbals Eat Guitars as '90s revivalists, their second album will speak to fans of Built to Spill's squall, Superchunk's chug, and Modest Mouse's string-bending strangeness. Frontman Joe D'Agostino, a.k.a. Joseph Ferocious, belongs in such lofty company: His dense, inventive songs evoke imagistic glimpses of mucus and ice-covered cars, moving from a gentle keen ("Plainclothes") to a desperate scream. Gorgeously harrowing album closer "Gary Condit" plays both sides, its prettiness collapsing into ferocity before disappearing entirely.

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