I briefly recapped this evening as one of 2017’s numerous musical highlights, but it deserves a proper post of its own as well.
With the 2016 release of their fourth full-length Pretty Years, Cymbals Eat Guitars further secured their place as one the most engaging rock bands around. Comparisons to Modest Mouse and Built to Spill sold the group’s 2009 debut Why There Are Mountains, but the knotty prog-emo of its 2011 followup Lenses Alien, the articulate soul-baring of 2014’s LOSE and Pretty Years‘ Springsteen-via-shoegaze sound have have demonstrated time and again that the quartet are no mere 90s revivalists. Cymbals treated December’s short run of northeast shows as a sort of 10th anniversary celebration, so thankfully we got a little bit of all of that on a chilly Thursday night at Great Scott. Bandleader Joseph D’Agostino was borderline apologetic about breaking out some back catalog obscurities, but there was hardly a need. They sounded great, and the crowd was onboard for wherever that setlist took us.
The night’s other selling point was a rare solo set from Charles Bissell of cult favorite New Jersey indie rockers The Wrens. Bissell impressed as a solo performer, looping together some of those long-delayed new Wrens songs (and a Christmas carol) with a magnetism that’s rarely present from guy-and-a-guitar sets. Cymbals also joined him for a short but stellar full-band set of some Meadowlands favorites.
Bad History Month, the solo endeavor of singer and songwriter Sean Bean, opened the night with one of his typically idiosyncratic and engrossing sets. His new record Dead and Loving It is well worth a listen.
Check out photos from the whole evening below.