2 Hip Soul
Editors’ Notes Cymbals Eat Guitars’ lead singer Joseph D’Agostino reveals his rock ’n’ roll heart on the Staten Island indie quartet’s third album, 2014’s Lose. Written in memory of his friend and musical collaborator Benjamin High, Lose also confronts the loss of one’s youth and one’s ability to believe that a single album can change the world. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the band from trying. And just as The Gaslight Anthem or The Hold Steady grab ahold of their guitars and aim for reviving the masses, Cymbals Eat Guitars have found their own distinct voice for rallying the troops. Songs like “Jackson,” “Warning,” “XR," and “Place Names” start the album on an aggressive note, with D’Agostino’s vocals working from a Conor Oberst–type cry to a Prince-like falsetto to get his point across. The instrumentalists aren’t afraid to explore the songs' outer reaches, and whether it’s the gentler cadences of “Child Bride,” the epic stand of “Laramie,” or the slowly swaying waltz of “2 Hip Soul,” this is a band that play with determination and a sense that they’re still discovering where their music can go.