Rob Crow is one of those prolific (albeit underrated) songwriters who can dabble in any genre at any given time. Keeping busy with his many projects (including his solo singer/songwriter material as well as his heavy-metal outfit Goblin Cock), Crow is perhaps best known for his work with indie outfit Pinback.
A couple of years ago, Staten Island-based Cymbals Eat Guitars released Why There Are Mountains, an arresting, noisy display of off-kilter rock songs mixed with a few hooks and left turns. For many listeners, the album came out of left field. Its raucous guitars, crashing drums, and frantic vocals made Cymbals Eat Guitars an instant sensation in the indie-music scene, and soon, it was one of the most respected bands — and one of the best surprises — of 2009.
Now, two years later, the band that’s often touted as being “on the rise” has returned with its second effort. Lenses Alien, the band’s first offering since signing to Barsuk, looks to establish the band as a staple in indie rock.
Lenses Alien picks up where Why There Are Mountains left off, and builds indispensably upon the recklessly nurtured garage rock that the band has seemed to perfect in its short career. Pinpointing the band’s sound is a tad difficult — the music has elements of the Pixies, Pavement, and Pinback — but it keeps in step with tried-and-true lo-fi methods. Indeed, with Lenses Alien, Cymbals Eat Guitars has added another chapter to the musical styling of its solid debut. With album opener “Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)” clocking in at more than eight minutes, and riveting tracks like “Keep Me Waiting” and “Shorepoints,” the band seems intent on hitting listeners with the full force of its grunge-meets-pop capabilities.