CYNICS, THE: Here We Are: CD

Jan 23, 2008

There are two phases of Suck involved in getting older. The first phase of Suck involves the absence of youth. The second phase of Suck is not so much about the absence of youth, but the presence of OLD. One senses, after listening to this record, that the presence of OLD is beginning to make itself known around Cynic-ly quarters. I hasten to add that no disrespect is meant by this; it is what it is. But, i mean, still, about a third of the record is ballads, or slow songs, or whatever the hell you wanna call those things that start with acoustic guitars, and, adding anguish to injury, the band somehow manages to cop the riff to the Beatles’ icky “Here Comes the Sun” not once but TWICE in the course of a single album. Now, i do not denyeth The Cynics the right to be a kinder, more gentler freak-flag-flying nation; to do so would be the stance of a young and obstreperous whippersnapper, and my best whippersnapping days are long behind me. I’m just SAYIN’, is all, that as far as Cynics albums go, this one is kinda “relaxed fit,” if you know what i mean. For some reason, they also see fit to swipe the riff to “In My Mind’s Eye” by the Small Faces and re-cast it as “The Ring;” what purpose this action serves other than giving rock nerds like myself something to yip about is quite unclear at presstime. That said, “Here We Are” contains my new ALL-TIME FAVORITE Cynics song ((edging “Blue Train Station” from the top slot it’s occupied for the last two decades or so)), “The Warning,” which sounds like the Monkees on steroids with Peter Zaremba on harmonica, Keith Moon on drums, and a savage Joey Levine on vocals, and would actually be the perfect song to play during a Scooby-Doo or Josie & The Pussycats chase scene, if either of those bands had Joey Levine on vocals and Keith Moon on drums, which i don’t think they did. Well, actually, Josie & The Pussycats might have, i don’t remember any more. Nice one-off soul number, and thanks for keepin’ it real, yo. BEST SONG: “The Warning” BEST SONG TITLE: “Courtney.” No, okay, just kidding, just kidding. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The core Cynics duo of Kastelic/Kostelich are joined by Piblatovic and Kaplanovich on this record; both Kasenetz and Katz remain AWOL.

 –norb (Get Hip)