Rather than playing it safe and simply re-creating their 2009 debut, Cymbals Eat Guitars decided to tweak their sound in a moodier direction on their sophomore album, Lenses Alien. Focusing on mining melody from discord, the band's follow-up combines the jangly harmony of Archers of Loaf with the slick precision of the Dismemberment Plan, pinning listeners under a Wall of Sound in songs like "Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)" before letting them explore the wide-open spaces of "The Current." Despite only taking a couple of years to put out a second album, Lenses Alien also feels like an altogether more grown-up record. A lot of the sparkling ebullience that permeated Why There Are Mountains seems to have given way to a darker tone that gives the band a more weathered sound without making them seem jaded or weary. This kind of shift marks Cymbals Eat Guitars as a band that is willing to grow their sound rather than just be content to release the same album again and again, making Lenses Alien an album that's not only a great follow-up to their first album, but a promise of good things yet to come. ~ Gregory Heaney
Spin (p.80) - "[T]heir second album will speak to fans of Built to Spill's squall, Superchunk's chug, and Modest Mouse's string-bending strangeness."
Alternative Press (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Fall in love with any one hook on their complex second album at your own risk, because it'll probably never be repeated."
Uncut (magazine) (p.83) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "LENSES ALIEN harnesses the singular vision of singer and guitarist Joseph D'Agostino to finely nuanced, feedback-soused art-rock."
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