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On their LP no.3 New York-based Cymbals Eat Guitars present nine unwieldy song-shapes, ranging from fast and breezy punk to dramatic, overlong experiments in sound. All the while such aural chaos serves to accommodate the unfurling narratives of songwriter and vocalist Joseph D’Agostino, as his commandeering vocal style more than frequently overspills the stanza lines of his sprawling lyrical script. Delivering a set of deeply personal lyrics through a frenetic and at times Bowie-esque series of yelps and yells, D’Agostino’s strikes an ebullient presence on LOSE as he transfers the pure emotional energy of life events – all the jubilation, all the melancholy – into a form of pure, scintillating sound. Backed by the band’s angular guitar sounds, angelic symphonic sections, and the occasional cyclical song structure, LOSE is a rambling and loose document demonstrating at once how adventurous and melodically satisfying guitar rock can still be.

This densely cluttered lyrical approach is matched in turn by the band’s own scattershot use of instrumentation. On tracks such as “Laramie” dense swirls of guitar noise wrap around electronic effects, resulting in a super-dense sound which positively glimmers in the sheen of its own refracted beauty. Witness also the choral beauty of opener “Jackson” which, with its unashamedly epic progressive qualities, descends into a frenzied Q&A session between D’Agostino’s aggressive guitar stabs and the resultant feedback. Carried in and out of the maelstrom by the searching bass lines of Matt Whipple, along with a symphonic brass section in tow, the effects are dazzlingly pretty.

Even with the added benefit of a lyrics sheet D’Agostino’s lines are obtuse and difficult to decipher with a precise clarity. This is due strictly to D’Agostino’s own intensely personal narrative perspective, as he aims to capture, via his own narrow viewfinder, the kaleidoscopic experiences of youth. These are simple yet flighty stories of everyday life; coming of age songs that are neither maudlin nor emotionally overstated. The album’s central highlight, “Chambers,” reveals a real and deeply touching moment of poignancy, as D’Agostino documents how his parents bought him a pet to “learn about loss,” adding “While I’m away on tour she sniffs beneath my door.”

LOSE is exactly like sifting through the discarded pocket lint of a young man’s own personal Wasteland, revealing in the process an array of sundry materials choreographed with no discernible order to outsiders. However, despite the fact that LOSE is personal to the point of idiosyncrasy, during the more floaty and lucid moments its themes are also strangely universal. With its technicolor vibrancy, Cymbals Eat Guitars have produced one of the more interesting offerings of 2014.