New York-based indie-band Cymbals Eat Guitars (what a great band name!) was formed only last year by singer-songwriter Jason D'Agostino, and already the band is making quite a name for itself. The first song release by the band, "Share" (2008), created an immediate critical buzz, and the band hasn't looked back since. This is their (independently released and self-produced) debut album.
"Why There Are Mountains" (9 tracks; 45 min.) brings a a delicious, off-center, take on indie rock. Modest Mouse and Pavement/Stephen Malkmus have been mentioned most frequently when describing the sounds of CEG, and I can certainly see certain elements of that, in particular the Malkmus post-Pavement output. Opener "...And the Hazy Sea" is my favorite track on here, an epic 6+ min. roller-coaster between instrumental passages, soft interludes and howling parts. Other highlights include "Indiana", the earlier-mentioned "Share" (another 7+ min. epic), and the dreamy "What Dogs See". The short "Living North" is the most conventional song on here. In all, this album is quite pleasant from start to finish, and at 45 min. it clips by in no time.
I was supposed to see CEG in concert for the first time a few months ago in September at the Monolith music festival at the Red Rocks near Denver. Alas, the interest in the band was so fierce that I couldn't even get into the auditorium where they were performing, a major disappointment for me. Finally, if you wonder where you can hear these guys, check out WOXY (BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll), the internet-only station that brings the best indie-music in the country, bar none. Meanwhile, "Why There Are Mountains" is an intruiging debut album and I can't wait to see where Cymbas Eat Guitars go from here.