Reviewed by Anthony Servante
Cinema Cinema was established in 2008 when two Brooklyn-born and -raised cousins, Ev Gold and Paul Claro, joined forces. With Gold seamlessly intertwining guitar, pedals, and vocals, and Claro laying down a ferocious foundation, a new sound burst forth from the seeds of no-wave and hardcore.
Throughout the past six years, the two have financed and managed their own D.I.Y. touring schedule, playing over 350 shows, more than 30 U.S. states, and seven different countries.
Some of their most rewarding moments include five American tours with Greg Ginn (SST Records), opening multiple shows for Black Flag in their home city of Brooklyn, as well as touring Europe with world-renowned producer Martin Bisi.
They have released two E.P.'s and two full-length albums, one of which was recorded with legendary Inner Ear producer Don Zientara. They recently unveiled a 7" cover of P.J. Harvey's "50 Ft Queenie", and have just finished recording their third full-length with Martin Bisi, to be released soon.
Cinema Cinema releases their third CD on August 19th, 2014. Titled "A Night at the Fights", it continues the band's Punk energy fusion with 70s Progressive Rock experimentation. Ev Gold assaults the guitar, taming the tiger till its growl becomes a purr, while Paul Claro pounds the skins with rhythmic velocity and terror, matching the ups and downs of the tiger roars. In short, this is cerebral head-banging music at its best.
The opening songs, "Broad Daylight", "Decades", and "Raging Bull" are easily the cornerstone of CC's sound. Lyrics are shouted but always understood. The unpredictable rhythms are reminiscent of Jazz fusion; they follow the beat only to abandon it in favor of soaring guitar work. And then return to the beat safely. By track 4, "Boxcutter", the rhythm relaxes and the song seemingly takes on the form of a traditional Progressive Rock song, but it is a false lure, a siren calling the sailor to the sharp rocks. The shift to basic Hard Rock echoes the work of bands like Camel and King Crimson while the lyrics ironically cry "Twist and shout". This is one of my favorite songs on the CD.
"Gowanus Ghost" revisits the Progressive structure of soft lyrics with hard drum work and wild guitar play. "Minute" was by far the most experimental, while "2010" was the most accessible, a Top Forty Song waiting to hit the airwaves. That is not a criticism. Cinema Cinema needs to reach a wider audience. So far, their audience has come from the crowds of their concerts. A little word of mouth wouldn't hurt a bit. And, lastly, "Shiner No. 4", the final track on the new CD, uses extensively pedal guitar to express sounds closely resembling 1970s synthesizer (think Rick Wakeman). It rounds out the earlier songs on the CD.
A cross between early King Crimson, the jams of Jimi Hendrix, and raw Punk Rock of bands like RANCID and DESCENDANTS, the new CD by Cinema Cinema brings its raw and savage sound to bear on the lazy Pop hits sentiments of today's generation. Every ten years or so, a talent of genius and skill shakes up the music of the current generation. Cinema Cinema is that band. They've earned a listen from you, and you deserve to listen to them.
Click here for tickets to their East Coast CD Release concert and receive a free CD. If you can't make it, click here for information about purchasing a copy.