Cinema Cinema - A Night at the Fights (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Cinema Cinema

A Night at the Fights (2014)


Cinema Cinema does not make it easy for you to love them. They are often loud, abrasive and confrontational. A Night at the Fights is the third full length from the Brooklyn, NY duo. The sound is hard to pin down, but it contains a heavy dose of artsy metal, plus elements of punk and noise. The songs tend to be long and complex, and challenging to the listener. They manage to get a lot of different sounds from only guitar, drums and vocals.

Opening track, "Broad Daylight", starts with raw throated yelling over a single swelling guitar tone. It goes from there into multiple passages and changes, from noodling guitar to heavy riffing. You may find yourself checking to see if a new song has started, only to find that it's the same one. The lyrics are sparse, and there are enough different riffs for a whole album's worth of material. Usually the guitar plays over the drums, but there are also powerful parts when they are lockstep.

By comparison, the second track, "Decades", is practically a pop song. It's short, the music is more repetitive, and you can almost make out a melody. Third track, "Raging Bull", is probably the best song on the album. The title of the record comes from the words of this song, and its a real rager. Speaking of the words, without a lyric sheet they can be pretty hard to decipher. The vocals tend to deliver a mood more than a message, but a little more is understood with each listen. "Boxcutter" is the fourth song, and it's another solid, angry track.

Cinema Cinema overindulges a bit on the fifth song, "Gowanus Ghost". It's too long and too noisy for its own good. It's like Greg Ginn and Tom Morello tried to stuff all their guitar gimmicks into a single song. The next two tracks, "Minute" and "2010", make up for the lapse. They are impassioned and well executed. The album ends with a 9+ minute instrumental called "Shiner No. 4". It tests your patience, but has enough sonic diversity to not get too tedious.

Even after multiple spins of A Night at the Fights , you will probably not find yourself singing along with it. It is not poppy, feel—good music, but if you're willing to challenge yourself, this can be a rewarding listen. The spirit of it reminds me of the groundbreaking stuff that the Amphetamine Reptile label was putting out in the late 80's/early 90's. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you're looking to expand your musical horizons, this is a good place to start.