H&H // THE AGE OF FRACTURE – CYMBALS
Originally posted on Hooting & Howling
After 2012’s ‘Sideways, Sometimes’ EP, arty pop quartet Cymbals have returned to the dancefloor with their T. Rodgers inspired second LP, ‘The Age Of Fracture’.
From the off, the album is driven by synths refreshingly polished since 2011’s debut ‘Unlearn’, with the epic ‘Winter 98’, a laidback affair of sustained, interwoven melodies and intricate beats with softly sweet vocals from frontman Jack Cleverly in his native french, sounding like a lost New Order track drenched in reverb, and starting as they mean to go on.
‘The Natural World’, the album’s lead single, follows this idea up carrying an infectious bass funk and a disco melody unlikely to leave your head for some time, whilst ‘You Are’, a similarly 6 minute jam of carefully executed ambience, implies much the same idea; Cymbals have sharpened up, and they sound even better for it.
Admist the indie dance explosion, both ‘Empty Space’ and past single, ‘Like An Animal‘ keep the futuristic beats coming and could easily stand as sure-fire summer soundtracks, the latter a maze of sparkling synthlines, undeniably Foals-esque guitars and whimsical vocals quite so good it has earmaked itself as one of the best things the outfit have come up with in a good while.
‘Erosion’ remains too standing as a high point of the album, conjuring up nostalgic tones of post-punk merged with psychedelia the track screams the sounds of The Cure and those alike, with a crisp synth flair and naturally catchy melody only improving matters before ‘The End‘ gives the album one final injection of shimmering dance music of Anglo-French combinations, effortlessly echoeing the subject matter and cementing the band as genius’ at creating echoing unescapably brilliant tracks such as itself throughout.
The dark, despondent ‘Call Me’ hushes down the tone in classic album closer style with a moody instrumental edge that once again emphasises their capabilities of creating synth fueled music that can lull you into any situation before fading into silence seemingly all too soon.
‘The Age Of Fracture’ without a doubt sees Cymbals make an impressive return, and by polishing and tweaking all their best elements since the debut and twisting them into all 11 tracks, the follow up has proved itself to be something of a masterpiece more than worth waiting for.