Double LP £15.99 TLV070LP
Coloured vinyl 2LP on Tough Love.
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CD £7.99 TLV070CD
CD on Tough Love.
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This is my first exposure to London party-synthpoppers Cymbals. They've been going for a while and I've got precious little time to write this review. What's going on on this album is some danceable synthpop with elements of Passion Pit, Pet Shop Boys and Vampire Weekend. Second track 'The Natural World' sounds like Passion Pit interpreting The Cure's 'Close To Me' in their slick, epic, yelpy style. Actually the further I get into this album, the more I keep thinking "this sounds loads like Passion Pit". That's not necessarily a bad thing though, because the things that Passion Pit are good at - huge-sounding euphoric synthpop with well-programmed drums, earnest high pitched male vocals and a seemingly bottomless bag of memorable hooks - are in no short supply here either.
It is kind of a relief, though, when they hit the Talking Heads-esque 'Empty Space' and tone things down a bit (sadly the only time this happens to any significant extent over the course of the album), concentrating on staccato synth bursts and clever understated drumbeats, although the peace of mind that song affords you can only last so long because the next song 'The 5%' alternates between a fairly laid back verse and a chorus with blasting compressed synths so jarring they could strip paint. The guy's voice reminds me of Alexei from Johnny Foreigner, that yelpy.
'The Age of Fracture' will probably polarise opinions but I can't deny there's some very catchy and danceable synthpop going on here. I think it's really made to be played in places where there's lots of people congregating and interacting with one another rather than in your house on your own. It's making me feel old, like a dad saying "Oh, is this what the young people are listening to nowadays?". I'm 30.
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