The fact that Pretty Years, Cymbals Eat Guitars’ fourth LP, is an utterly fantastic record should come as little surprise to anyone that heard 2014’s LOSE. Exploring the theme of death with remarkable poignancy and elegance, it went down as one of the most criminally undiscovered releases of recent years.
One can only hope the band’s latest release finds a wider audience, because once again the New Yorkers come up trumps with an engaging collage of noise rock, emo, indie and grunge. Pretty Years is a superb rock album which, this time around, celebrates life instead of musing on death.
Their most hook-heavy release yet, this is an album full of superb pop songs. "Dancing Days" is a wonderful, slow-moving ballad that explores loneliness before exploding with a Killers-sized chorus. "Wish" possesses a great sense of rhythm with guitars that almost sound like horn arrangements. Closer "Shrine" is a great slow-burner that explodes into life with crashing drums and bursts of feedback.
With an emo revival seemingly taking shape at the moment Cymbals Eat Guitars may finally be able to find an audience, but the truth is they’re too good a band to need to fit into a scene. "Pretty Years" is one of the best guitar albums of the year.