Cinemartyr is Back With New Album

When Cinemartyr makes new music, compositional concepts are often one of the grander elements in the work, and it’s in this sense that their new record Opt Out isn’t that different from the content they’ve released in the past. Where a lot of other bands would want to shelter their harmonies from the textural presence of additional instrumentation, this is a group that runs head-on towards the chaos, using it as a means of emphasizing the chaste nature of a melody or even the absence of a traditional hook, which are two elements that you aren’t going to find in a lot of indie rock contemporarily. Opt Out sees Cinemartyr both playing their most melodic content to date as well as their most industrial, with the clash of these two facts resulting in friction as enticing as it comes.

There is definitely an atmospheric tone that feels like a hangover from the band’s last album, the stirring 5-star affair Death of the First Person, but it’s been minimized so as to make way for what feels like an oxygen-robbing smother that starts and ends with the fretwork in the mix. Though “Water Graphics” doesn’t have the assaultive nature of “Terms and Conditions” or “Delete Yourself,” there’s a brutishness to even its most seamless of instrumental harmonies that seems to fall in place with the same pinch of the bass in “Everything Dysmorphia” and “Art Forum.” Continuity matters in rock, despite what some might tell you, and a record like Opt Out reminds us this every chance its creators get.

You’ll hear a lot of grinding and grating coming off of the backend in the likes of “Cancellation Policy,” “No Legacy,” and “Dead Influencer,” but one thing you’re not going to find in the whole of this tracklist is a lot of slickly produced content made specifically with mass airplay in mind. I don’t think this is completely because Cinemartyr wants to reject the mainstream, but they’re also not trying to match the model that anyone else is espousing as the standard in alternative rock anymore. That wouldn’t make them very ‘alternative’ by conventional measurement, at least if we’re dating it back to the origin of the term, and I think it’s commendable that they’re living by a higher standard with performances like the ones that comprise this LP.

Of all the underground scenes in the world, there isn’t another like New York City’s, and the very fact that this band has been able to cultivate the status that they have through some of the more pressing years this scene has ever experienced says something about what they have to offer the indie rock aesthetic. Cinemartyr’s Opt Out picks right up where their last record left off in pushing their sound into the future one painstaking bastion of noise-born melodicism at a time, and if you’ve never heard their music prior to this LP hitting store shelves, this might be a good way of getting familiar with the band – as well as the buzz they’ve so righteously earned.

Michael Rand

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