More avant-pop than post-punk, their music was as eclectic as their members' musical talents would lead one to believe, ranging from squonky Beefheart rock to bouncy Devo-esque new wave, as evidenced by the brilliant "Pop Doormat", which opens with a deceptively anthemic synth line, then uses an ebullient bass and keyboard melody to underscore a disconsolate lyrical theme that wraps with the repeated question "What am I waiting for?" The band performed regularly in numerous venues in Bloomington, including Second Story, Bullwinkle's, the Bluebird, and The Gentry Remedy. The band also traveled extensively and performed a venues throughout the US, including CBGB in New York, the Music Box in Kansas City, Mister Goodbar in Buffalo, Tewligans in Louisville, Space Place in Chicago, and many others. The Cigarettes' musical style is most frequently characterized by the repeated use of hard dissonances (minor 2nd's, major 7th's) in combination with angular rhythmic patterns. At times, dissonances are densely packed, as in the thick web of atonal clusters supporting the lyrics of "Broken Windows." A more spacious use of dissonance is found in "Simple Machines," clarified by an intriguing orchestration of the band's various instrumental sounds. "Puppies in a Sack" and "Piano Lesson/Smith Street" share a similar "additive process" technique in the gradual building of their dissonant and polytonal textures.
Combined with this predominantly modular organization of material is a powerful sense of linear motion frequently provided by the band's lyrics. Often the emotive verbal scenarios create tenuous implications of direction which counteract the clouds of tonal density. In "Puppies in a Sack," the relentless repetition of "It was fun for a while" evokes a resignation to nostalgia, which is arrested by the plaintive admission, "But that was a while ago!" The group recorded frequently but released very little material (one 7" EP and a few appearances on compilations) while they were a performing organization. Two CDs of their material have been released in the years since the band broke up.
Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more