US duo CINEMA CINEMA have been an ongoing venture for a decade at this point, and from their base out of Brooklyn they have a few hundred live shows to their name, a few EPs and 4 full length studio productions. “Man Bites Dog” is the most recent of the latter, and was released in the spring of 2017 through Labelship (UK) and Dullest Records (US).

Cinema Cinema is categorized as a punk band it would appear, but as far as punk music goes this is not the album to seek out if down to Earth, primal aggressive punk music is what you seek. These guys are rather more expansive and expressive as far as such ventures go, and most certainly adds something of an avant touch to their compositions.

Punk is something of a foundation though, especially in the vocals department, while the music as such arguably have noise rock and garage rock as just as important aspects of the core expression of the band. Not that these are exclusive nor dominant, but rather more a case of these aspects being the most common. Stoner rock, new wave, jazz and post-rock are other styles where details finds their way into the songs on this production, alongside occasional sparse excursions into territories with more of a psychedelic oriented expression.

While there are tracks present that might satisfy the regular punk fan by way of aggression and intensity, the greater majority of the material wander between style and genre mix-ups, where alterations in pace and intensity is the norm rather than the exception. Expressive sequences with abrasive undertones are fairly common occurrences throughout, and whenever the band opts to add a touch of jazz to a more punk and noise rock oriented foundation the end result, while at times rather captivating, most certainly also merits a description as challenging.

My impression is that Cinema Cinema on this album explores a type of music that resides somewhere in the middle between punk rock and avantgarde progressive rock, an album that probably merits a check by those equally fond of Sex Pistols and Frank Zappa, and especially those who are intrigued by the notion of a band combining elements from both of these artists. There is more to this album than that, obviously, but this description is a good starting point to navigate from in my point of view.

 

My rating: 77/100

Track list:
Bomb Plot; Run Until You’re Out; Exotic Blood; Digital Clockwork Orange; Taxi Driver; Mask of the Red Death; Shiner Number Five

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