Lenses Alien

  • Record Label: Barsuk
  • Release Date: Oct 11, 2011
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
Buy On
  1. 100
    So many wonderful things happen on Lenses Alien that you can't possibly remember them all. The only solution, of course, is to listen again.
  2. The best thing about Lenses Alien: its incessant begging for you to spin it again.
  3. Aug 30, 2011
    83
    Lenses Alien bears traces of Modest Mouse, Superchunk, Cap'n Jazz, Slint, and others, but the songs exude a craftsmanship that simple re-appropriation couldn't achieve. The band may be trying too hard to emphasize that by opening the album with an epic track, but the point isn't lost.
  4. Sep 28, 2011
    80
    It is a more mature record.
  5. Alternative Press
    Sep 14, 2011
    80
    The New York quartet have outdone it with Lenses Alien. [Oct 2011, p.106]
  6. Sep 7, 2011
    80
    While Why There Are Mountains reminded me of what those records [Perfect From Now On or The Moon and Antarctica] sounded like, Lenses Alien does something more difficult by reminding what it felt like once they were over and you were left to wonder if you just stumbled upon a cosmic, philosophical treatise disguised as an indie rock record.
  7. What can I say? It's just a really f*cking good rock album.
  8. 80
    A leaner album that manages to feel rattling and unruly, even if it's less of a surprise.
  9. 80
    The album could have gone a bit smoother or carried a simpler, more cohesive theme, but at the end of the day, Cymbals Eat Guitars have succeeded in creating one of the year's most surprisingly transcendental sophomore albums.
  10. Sep 1, 2011
    80
    Lenses Alien is a thick, abundantly ornate listen that overawes as much as it enthralls.
  11. Aug 30, 2011
    80
    Despite only taking a couple of years to put out a second album, Lenses Alien also feels like an altogether more grown-up record.
  12. Aug 29, 2011
    80
    All three of those bands masterfully juggle creative lyrics with equally inventive music, something Cymbals Eat Guitars comes very close to achieving on Lenses Alien.
  13. Aug 19, 2011
    80
    Their second album will speak to fans of Built to Spill's squall, Superchunk's chug, and Modest Mouse's string-bending strangeness.
  14. Aug 19, 2011
    80
    The balance of tension and release in Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name) is expertly managed, while Definite Darkness and The Current bring calm and a note of quiet bliss.
  15. Aug 25, 2011
    75
    It may be easy to namedrop a litany of '90s bands to describe Cymbals Eat Guitars, but Lenses Alien proves that doing so is a fool's errand. This sound doesn't fit such easy spaces, which is what makes it so damn good.
  16. Sep 14, 2011
    72
    Out in the suburbs, the Cymbals Eat Guitars boys had plenty of room to stretch their legs and creative muscles, but it would have done some good for them to have been reigned back in, even if a little.
  17. Sep 15, 2011
    70
    As a sophomore set, Lenses Alien is daring and cohesive, layered and challenging.
  18. Sep 8, 2011
    70
    At the very least, Cymbals Eat Guitars sound free from the influence-peddling of their debut, well on their way to creating their own niche. If they get there, it will be something to see.
  19. 70
    While they mainly hit a balance between shifting symphonics, subtle keys and pyroclastic guitar, sometimes--such as on "Plainclothes," a ballad/disco/punk-funk/noise jigsaw--there's just too much going on.
  20. Under The Radar
    Aug 19, 2011
    70
    What's most impressive about Lenses Alien is that Cymbals Eat Guitars, after a couple of years on the road, sound like a band now instead of a recording project. [Jul 2011, p.79]
  21. Aug 31, 2011
    66
    What Cymbals Eat Guitars does best is to constantly toy with the highs and lows of song construction: soft, loud, acoustic, reverb, shout, cymbal or guitar.
  22. Uncut
    Oct 18, 2011
    60
    Lenses Alien harnesses the singular vision of singer and guitarist Joseph D'Agostino to finely nuanced, feedback-soused art-rock. [Nov 2011, p.83]
  23. Q Magazine
    Sep 21, 2011
    60
    A rugged, roaring listen. [Oct 2011, p.117]

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