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2010/11/24 / monteurhulot

ARTIST // Play Guitar

My experience of North American guitar music and its trends in 2009 could, if necessary, be represented by two bands: Cymbals Eat Guitars (from Staten Island) and Surfer Blood (from Palm Beach, Florida;) the former presented a new reconfiguration of 90s indie rock in the vein of Archers of Loaf, Built to Spill and Pavement, while the latter’s garage rock had echoes of surf and in vogue Africanesque styles. The sound of the two bands was where those two current met; all in all, the Surfer Blood tendency seemed to predominate in the broader music scene.

It’s time for me to add another group to this arbitrary dialectic I’ve set up- the similarly-titled Play Guitar falls squarely into the Cymbals Eat camp, the vocals alone bringing vivid Doug Martsch flashbacks. While it doesn’t have the many translucent layers of pedal effects of shoegaze (Play Guitar, being originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, “don’t end up sounding like we’ve only ever heard Eric’ Trip”, it often has its tempo; but in general, like Cymbals Eat Guitar’s Why There Are Mountains, even if one song can be identified as having a specific influence, put together their songs show off a wide variety of influences, firmly ensconced in the tradition of trad-indie rock.

You can listen to their quite nice 2009 Cold Crystal Shield EP on bandcamp

while their even better full-length (alternatively identified as being untitled or as having two sides separately titled Shields and Don’t Worry About Death) is available from Noyes Records. You can listen to two tracks from that album on the bottom of this page on Play Guitar’s website.

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