Now more than a handful of years removed from their 2009 debut breakthrough Why There Are Mountains (QRO review), Cymbals Eat Guitars are in what could be described as the ‘consistent’ phase of an indie-rock band’s tenure. They’re not the hot new thing, they’re not grizzled veterans, but rather an act that you hope keeps it up (especially difficult with the poor financials of today’s music industry). Thankfully, Pretty Years keeps up their soul-searching epic nature.
Years is a rather weary record, having experienced the highs and lows of life and all the more lived for it. ‘Highs’ and ‘lows’ come out in the mixture of quiet and explosions on such tracks as opener “Finally”, middle piece “Dancing Days”, and closer “Shrine”. However, the album also has higher, more expansive indie-rock moments with “Have a Heart” and “Close”, punk rock “Beam”, and even kinda cheesy (in the right way) rock saxophones on “Wish”.
Pretty Years won’t vaunt Cymbals Eat Guitars to any new popular heights, but instead widens and deepens this maturing band.