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Album Review: Cynics - Stones I've Thrown EP

If the sound of Billy Bragg with a taste of Against Me! is what gives you wet dreams, then onesies Cynics (aka Giles Bidder) is the band that will sing you to sleep (if by sleep you mean sing-along with bucketloads of energy). His EP 'Stones I've Thrown' kicks off with '14 Coleman St.', a simple but effective sing-song drenched in acoustic punk ethos. Not instantly memorable, but it makes up for its lack of catchiness with enough heart to stop divorces.

"This may be all for nothing but I won't be fucking boring" sings mastermind Giles in 'You're Alright' and he's definitely true to his word. The song contains a welcome seasoning of instrumental arrangements, and ends on a melodic and tender note, making it the EP's stand-out track. 'Be Excellent To Each Other' starts off with chordal work similar to Dashboard Confessional's earlier work and channels the acoustic punk vibe into the man's poppier offering.

The chosen curtain closer is an acoustic reworking of hardcore punksters Paint It Black's 'Memorial Day'. The melody of the song is well fleshed out as the storytelling elements of the original are highlighted in this relevant and worthy cover song.

Even though Cynics present a minimal set of tricks, puppet-master Giles manages to create unique singsongs that always feel over too quickly. If I haven't complimented the man enough yet, then you'll be curious to know that £500 of the profit will go to Sea Shepherd and Partners in Health. Good lad. Here's to hoping he continues on his stride.


'Stones I've Thrown' by Cynics is available as a free download here and on 7" vinyl through Happy Days Records.

Cynics on MySpace

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!