The Cinema Eye
A Complete Arsenal
Whoever writes The Cinema Eye’s press releases has a good head on his/her shoulders. Two sentences into the thing and the crowd’s “eye-rolling” reactions to C.E.’s use of the key-tar (you know the one) are addressed. I was one of these rock cynics (critics) when I saw them, along with four other bands, open for Pretty Girls Make Graves in October. I have very little tolerance for extended mid-level rock shows anymore, and though there were a handful of songs in their set I liked, I was not won over.
I was, however, intrigued enough to request that this EP be included in my monthly deluge of reviews, and I’m glad I did. Without having to stare directly at a questionably sincere ’80s fetish, the music is much easier to enjoy. The band plays nouveau new wave in the same vein as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Hot Hot Heat. Let’s face it, the peak of synth-rock’s renaissance has come and gone, and a band just coming on to the scene would have to bear pretty strong goods to avoid looking like the kids no one invited to the party. The Cinema Eye happens to have it in spades.
“Turn on the Battle Mode” kicks off with some very Miami Vice-ian shredding before its chorus opts for a half-time disco hell. “Resist Reside” treads an almost prog-ish line while keeping its feet firmly on the dance floor. The instrumentation is good, but equal credit should be given to vocalist Mollie Wells who actually sings in a less confrontational amalgamation of Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Karen O. All in all, they’ve convinced me of one thing: key-tar or not, they kick ass.