Despite the title of their debut album, it’s unlikely that there was anything particularly strange about the Cinematics’ education. To judge by the terse, tuneful post-punk rave-ups collected here, frontman Scott Rinning and his Glasgow-based mates studied the same Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen records as everyone else in their current neo-new-wave cohort; throughout Education they pay precise tribute to those pioneers’ gloomy guitar haze and swoony desperation. What keeps them from receding into pure form is Rinning’s voice, an agile instrument that occasionally shimmers with the romantic fervor that earned Jeff Buckley the adulation of those who saw him perform in tiny East Village cafés. But these guys have no interest in playing tiny East Village dives; in their cover of Beck’s “Sunday Sun,” Ramsay Miller’s Edge-esque guitars shoot arena-goth sparks, and the throbbing disco beat in “Rise & Fall” practically demands a big-club remix treatment. At their most distinctive, the Cinematics achieve a degree of emotional engagement uncommon in their field.
The Cinematics | Axis, 13 Lansdowne Street, Boston | March 11 | 617.931.2000