A record of fun and gravitas from the London band
Cymbals’ 2011 debut, ‘Unlearn’, drew on post punk, most notably Talking Heads. For the follow-up, the London four-piece say they want to get away from anything arch and serious and “make music that makes people want to dance and feel joy” – so they’ve traded the jerky shapes for gleaming digital perfection on ‘The Age Of Fracture’. ‘Winter ’98’ is a fine example, a narcotic drift of multi-layered synthetic strings offset with the odd guitar twang and frontman Jack Cleverly sing-speaking in French. The end result is not dissimilar to Metronomy, both in sound and quality. ‘Erosion’ has shades of early ’80s New Order without being a slavish imitation, and the Italo-disco influenced ‘The Natural World’ features some acid sharp commentary on modern life: “I don’t know enough about you/To be kind to you.” This record is fun with a capital ‘F’, but there are moments of gravitas too. Not easy to do, that.