Princeton academics and weighty literary ideals rarely make for a bright-eyed sense of feel-good, but it’s a trick Cymbals pull off extremely nimbly. Inspired by a book about the uncertainty of collective meaning, it’s a neat backdrop to the band’s ever-changing amalgam of ragged punk-funk and sleek, disco-inspired pop.

This time, the emphasis is firmly on the latter with Dreamtrak and Daniel Reimer’s work on the dials, lending ‘The Age of Fracture’ the familiarly gilded sounds of Foals and Everything Everything but still allows Cymbals’ ingenuity to shine through. It does so on the itchy-picked guitar lines and dreamy, stretching synth of standout track ‘Like an Animal’, and whilst tracks like ‘Empty Space’ and ‘The Natural World’ hark back to the Talking Heads deference of ’Unlearn’, the echoing melodies of opener ‘Winter 98’ and the sweet J.Mascis-esque melancholy of ‘Erosion’ still make this a massively enjoyable listen.


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