It’s a fun old parlor game to seize a nice string of words whence it’s found and note its suitability for rock. “Ha, ‘The Three Lous,’ that sounds like a band name.” “Yes! ‘Put Your Clothes on Robert’ is totally the name of my second album!” Well, it’s a game that the London-based dance-pop band CYMBALS plays for keeps, having named their forthcoming album after historian Daniel T. Rodgers’ Bancroft Prize-winning Age of Fracture.
The British music site Broadway World reports that the band was quite taken with Rodgers’ study of the late-twentieth century unhinging of the collective purposes and meanings—regarding citizenship, gender and racial identities, economic structures, and more—that had provided a sense of social cohesion and consistency. The site quotes CYMBALS singer and guitarist Jack Cleverly on his response to the book: “It hit me that I often feel paralysed by the feeling that everything is ‘too complicated,’ and that many people I know feel that paralysis. I realised that this way of thinking can be traced through these songs.”
More from Broadway World:
Singles ‘Like An Animal’, ‘The End’ and ‘The Natural World’ are characterized by an upbeat disco cool and all push the 7-minute mark, whereas ‘Winter 98’, ‘This City’, and ‘Call Me’ are brooding, stark synth-led numbers reminiscent of early-New Order, with some lyrics sung in Jack’s native French.
The literary inspiration runs further through the album. The track ‘The 5%’, more obviously making reference to the themes of the album’s namesake, declares "Time can be erased, you’re stupid if you try and stay in place," over a pulsing bassline and swirling electronics. ‘Like an Animal’ is inspired by the intellectual and moral confusion of the main character in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain.
What’s more, the band announced the album via this video set to a piece poet/novelist Joe Dunthorne wrote in response to what Cleverly told him of how the book inspired the album:
Here’s hoping no one minds if we call this a check in the Transmedia column for HUP.