Here's a little confession, I didn't see Cymbals Eat Guitars debut, Why There Are Mountains , as the indie-rock revolution that many found it to be. Was it a great album? Hell yes it was. Did it change everything? No, not really. However, what said album was was a reminder that with a little bit of passion and creativity, a band could create something marvelous, something to make people turn their heads. I wasn't convinced in Cymbals Eat Guitars greatness, or their ability to craft a truly exceptional record. Well, here I am today, both a believer and a skeptic, as Cymbals Eat Guitars has crafted an excellent sophomore record, yet they've still not quite lived up to their potential.
First off, Lenses Alien sees the band skip right over the sophomore slump. The album is solid, full of great songs with a great production, churned out by a great band, very near to the peak of their capabilities. The excellence that was displayed on their debut is mimicked here to great effect, making this album a logical progression as well as testimony to their tried and true sound. In this respect, there isn't a whole lot to complain about. Fans will enjoy these new tunes, and the band is more than likely to pick up a few new admirers on the way.
Sadly, it's when you dig a little deeper do you find the small blemishes. True, Lenses Alien is a tighter, more mature affair. Yet I can't help but feel that the band played it a little safe on this one. It's almost as if they've become to comfortable with their sound, and are unwilling to venture to far away from it. Each song is great in its own way, but there's just not enough differentiation, making it all too derivative.
Regardless of this, Lenses Alien is a ridiculously solid and enjoyable indie rock out put. It's fun, catchy, and somewhat thought provoking. No, this isn't a revolution, but hell, it isn't trying to be. Cymbals Eat Guitars know what they're doing, and they're doing it well. Some would say better than most, actually. So, call me a believer in that I truly believe in the greatness of this band. Call me a believer because I think Cymbals Eat Guitars haven't nearly reached their potential, meaning an absolutely stunning work may lie just ahead of them. Lenses Alien, despite its flaws, is indicative of this, and points to a promising and exciting career for a very talented group of young men.