You’re forgiven if you think that the members of Cymbals don’t take their band too seriously. This London trio casts itself as a “badly rehearsed, joke band.” Three old friends that reconnected at the 2010 Field Day Festival, the band came to life when Jack, Sean, and Dan decided to throw out their combined experience from earlier musical projects – “unlearning” everything. They bound themselves to the simple idea that, first and foremost, music should be fun.
The band’s early months together saw them inspire one another by sharing radically different musical collections - Talking Heads, European techno and Whitney Houston all made it into the mix. Although the result of their experimentation jibes with the angularity of recent British indie pop, Cymbals are moving things forward. Think of that moment just before New Order ditched their guitars for synths. The sound shreds up its influences into something experimentally unpretentious. Playful, shrieking vocals accompany house-infused bass lines, lazy dance vibes, and a welcome lack of solemnity.
Earlier this year London’s Tough Love Records released Cymbals’ debut record Unlearn. The record takes its name from the band’s conceptual agenda. The songs are bound together by an array of hip production talent - James Yuill, Callum Wright (D/R/U/G/S) and Rory Attwell (Test Icicles) all play their individual parts, igniting the ten track collection into something that sounds fiery, cohesive, and vital.
Ironically for such a self-deprecating bunch of guys, Cymbals’ live show and record have ended up in a sea of buzz. They remain typically low-key about it: “I think what we're doing is kind of sissy compared to the punky scene [in East London],” they told Noisey. “We're trying to avoid minor chords at all cost and go for simplicity, like electronic loops, rather than complex indie song structures.”