EP Review: Insane Today by Cynimatics | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

EP Review: Insane Today by Cynimatics

Cynimatics’ most recent release, Insane Today blends the ska and pop-punk genres to create a hardcore, feel-good success. The EP, which dropped July 24, is the first completely self-recorded and self-produced project for the Pittsburgh band since 2015. The songs have been in the works for a while but have aged for the better.

The distinct ska sound in Cynimatics’ new work puts it over the top. The unmistakable, upbeat, Caribbean guitar riffs and jazzy, walking bass lines mixed with pop-punk influences push the music forward to create a sound like no other. A lot of ska musicians move their music more towards the reggae end of the spectrum than the punk end, but this band turns pop-punk music into ska. This sound gives each song a unique feel.

The starting song of the EP, “Perfect,” starts strong with classic ska horns in the background. The song’s verses describe the wrongdoings of a past love in an upbeat, powerful breakup anthem.

“She’s getting in too deep, and she’s sleeping with my friends / It’s a free for all, she’s manic, you better watch what you do next,” sings vocalist and rhythm guitarist Anthony Sarnelli.

The chorus then transitions to direct pop-punk with heavy guitar and drums. The song even includes a punk guitar solo from lead guitarist Sam Wtorkowski - who also plays bass, saxophone, keys, and drums - that doesn’t seem like it would work but fits into the track perfectly. It’s a perfect kickoff to the project as it draws listeners in and gets them lost while headbanging.

The transition between the second song and title track, “Insane Today,” is seamless. It’s almost like the songs don’t switch until the rhythm change happens. The title track is much more pop-punk than the first, especially with the continuous bass line leading the verses. It isn’t until the song hits the chorus that ska harmonies and horns come out, blending the two genres back together again. The song is the best pick for the title track, as it is an excellent representation of what the EP is all about. It’s basically like the summary of all the songs put into one hit.

The vocals and themes in “Unify,” the third track, are unlike the first two songs. This song has reggae breaks and guitar riffs that are reminiscent of heavy metal. Sarnelli's vocals are deeper and in a lower bass octave with more tenor-like harmonies instead of the other way around. “Unify” still has ska hints throughout  but provides a good transition to the last track of the EP, which is almost purely pop-punk.

“The Old Me” is the last track of the project and sounds a lot like old pop-punk bands like Blink-182 and Green Day. Instead of ska guitar melodies, it’s based more off of rock guitar. While the sound of the song has a very different feeling from the other songs, the theme of the lyrics stays the same. The lyrics are like a follow-up to “Perfect,” talking about how things used to be. This song is a good send-off for the album and for the story that’s being told throughout. It’s a way of saying that it’s over and that it’s for the best, with lyrics like, “That’s how it goes.”

Insane Today is the perfect EP for pop-punk and ska fans alike. By blending both genres, Cynimatics takes mature songs and turns them into youthful anthems. It’s a good project to listen to alone or with a group of friends to jam out. If Warped Tour was sill around, Cynimatics is definitely a band that you’d see taking the stage, but for now, the band will just have to continue to rock fans through the pandemic.

Women & Non-binary Bike Summit
9 images

Women & Non-binary Bike Summit

By Mars Johnson