Tough Love Records – August 25th
It’s been three years since CYMBALS last album The Age of Fracture, during which time the band have struggled with losing members, financial pressures and disintegrating relationships. Now, back to the original songwriting duo of Jack Cleverly and Dan Simons, their latest full-length is a kaleidoscope of vibrant synth patterns and guitar-led melodies. This is CYMBALS relaxing into their identity, breaking down barriers and seeking new beginnings. There are moments reminiscent of Metronomy’s groove, Bombay Bicycle Club in the vocal harmonies of ‘I Thought I Knew You’, Delphic in the atmospheric synths of ‘ASMR’ and even Gorillaz in the downtempo and percussive ‘Splitting’. Lead single ‘Decay’ with its aching strings and bright textures is an ode to acknowledging the beauty and inevitability of things breaking down. The album’s two interludes, ‘My Body (Winter Mix)’ and ‘Euphoric Recall’ are heavy with moments of intense, hypnotic reflection as rumbling drumbeats flicker into the last moments of each, signifying progress. There’s a potent use of crescendo in ‘Car Crash’ as hi-hat, synth, vocal and guitar are added to a delicate piano interlude while they sing, “I’ve figured this out… I know who I am.” This much is clear; CYMBALS are back with poise, confidence and the same insatiable knack for rhythm.