Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Active Bird Community, Thrushes

Fri, July 28, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$12 ADV $14 DOS

This event is 18 and over

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Cymbals Eat Guitars
“We wanted to make a more energetic record. I personally looked to artists like Springsteen, 70’s Bowie, The Smiths, The Cure, Neil Young as inspiration for—not really for sound as much as for that dichotomy of bands who were entertainers still making, at times, weird dark music and writing songs that seem totally over-the-top by today’s rock band standards,” says Cymbals Eat Guitars bassist Matthew Whipple of his band’s wildly ambitious fourth LP, Pretty Years.

The band, composed of singer/guitarist Joseph D’Agostino, bassist Whipple, keyboardist Brian Hamilton, and drummer Andy Dole, have indeed crafted what’s easily their most sonically enigmatic and most rewarding album to date. Their trademark cacophonic guitar rock and innate propulsion are still abundant, but they’re buttressed by raucous synth and keyboard lines, and an extemporaneous saxophone performance, which enrich when they could easily clutter these songs. The band also worked more quickly and efficiently than they had in the past, facilitated by years on the road in which they’ve played close to a thousand shows, which rendered them a tight, fully-oiled machine in the studio.

D’Agostino emphasizes that the band always goes into the studio with an edict of crafting an album that replicates their live sound, but haven’t had that come into full fruition until now. “With this record…I think we nailed it this time. First or second takes of everything, real hunger in the performances. Just something to prove.” He stresses that he’d be happy with the band’s chaotic yet tight performances on songs, yet would expect producer John Congleton to ask him to do multiple run throughs. To his surprise, Congleton would say pithily, in D’Agostino’s words, “ok, what’s next?,” obviously satisfied with the results. Remarkably, the band tracked the album in four days.

This looseness is apparent from the outset, on the epic grandeur of opener “Finally,” which shimmers with complex beauty, leading into the sweet rush of “Have a Heart,” which finds D’Agostino singing, “I’m so out of sync / And you’re out of sync with me,” which could well be a mantra for the visceral appeal of this superb record.

The entire album is rife with electrified, flashbulb moments—“4th of July, Philadelphia (SANDY)” conveys the madness of life on the road, exhibiting D’Agostino’s uncanny ability to transform minutiae into profundity. This skill is evident in spades on the record’s centerpiece and opus, the disarmingly vulnerable “Dancing Days.” The song also exhibits the contributions of Whipple, and slyly invokes the album’s title in its magisterial chorus, as D’Agostino contritely croons, “Goodbye to my pretty years.”

“In a dark moment on tour for LOSE, I said something to Matt about losing my pretty years quickly because of touring, how the lifestyle ages you,” explains D’Agostino. “Months later when we were writing for the record, he came to me with the lyrics for that chorus and I wrote the song around them.”

D’Agostino gets to the crux of his emotions on the album’s closer, “Shrine,” in which he veers from the ghosts chasing him into fever dream territory, seemingly coming to terms with demons past. The instrumentation itself is a gorgeous storm-cloud of guitars, building glacially to a cathartic denouement, as D’agostino sings with mounting emotion, “Where will it all go when I die / Never know while I’m alive.” Circumspect about discussing his lyrics’ meanings, D’Agostino laughs when the dark nature of the song’s broached, “This is a record that has many moods!”

And indeed, Pretty Years is a roller coaster ride, both lyrically and sonically, that encompasses what it’s like to be alive and in the moment. But ultimately, this is an album that keenly captures the magic and loss attendant to living life wide-eyed, and hints that these “pretty years” may portend even prettier ones to come.
Active Bird Community
Active Bird Community
Active Bird Community is a Brooklyn band formed in 2005 by members Tom D’Agustino, Zach Slater and Andrew Wolfson when they were in middle school. Over 10 years later, with the addition of Quinn McGovern on drums, Active Bird Community continues to enliven the stage with their sprightly slacker vibes reminiscent of 90’s indie rock. While ABC was young and experimenting with their sound, early listeners sensed something teeming beneath the surface. In the years since, they’ve released 2 full length albums and played hundreds of shows to adoring fans and delighted newcomers alike. In that time, their sound has gone under numerous revisions—not out of necessity but out of a tacit refusal to stagnate or sound like anything else. As the members matured, fell in (and out) of love, moved around and made their own way, the lyrics and arrangements of each song reflected both the harmony and the discord that comes with growing up in New York. Though, as anyone who’s seen them live can tell you, their music is so infectious you can’t help but lose yourself right along with them.
Thrushes
Thrushes
Thrushes; part of the passerine bird family. The songs of some species are considered to be among the most beautiful in the avian world.

Baltimore's Thrushes bring a similar beauty to the human world with Exposing Seas, their first full length in 5 years.

Formed in 2005, the band's previous efforts (2007's Sun Come Undone and 2010's Night Falls) garnered the kind of glowing praise most indie acts could only hope for. Now, with Seas and its swirling, reverb-drenched guitars and dreamy, yet plaintively delivered vocals, the album brings to mind a mix of the classic shoegaze era-gone-by, Hounds of Love Bush-isms and a splash of 90's emo-progenitors Rainer Maria resulting in Thrushes most focused work to date.

On the band's approach to this new album, singer Anna says "Exposing Seas is an album that shows our growth as a band. We worked so hard over the past few years to create songs that were larger and louder than before without losing the ethereal mood (of the band's previous work)." Lyrically, she says "a lot of the songs have a dark feel, or a hint of longing. I guess that's just where I end up when i write even if the words aren't autobiographical." 

Recorded and produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Office of Future Plans) at Magpie Cage Studios (Baltimore, MD), Exposing Seas is now available on Florida's New Granada Records.

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PRESS FOR 'EXPOSING SEAS'
"finds the band creating atmospheric soundscapes that add another depth and emotion to modern shoegaze." - Vanyaland

"This record is immediately going into heavy rotation, and I imagine it’ll end up in my year-end top ten." - This Is That Song

"what really sets them apart are the vocals of Anna Connor, at once strong and vulnerable and the powerful rhythm section who really nail it down here (give J. Robbins some credit here for his excellent production)." - Dagger

"another dense and hypnotic journey into the world of underground rock." - Babysue

"Thrushes still sound like Thrushes, and we like that." - Komakino (Italy)

"Unknown by me, I admit I was seduced by this style, very effectively led by the excellent female vocals." - Canal Blog (France)
Venue Information:
Metro Gallery
1700 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD, 21201
http://themetrogallery.net/