Single Review – Franz Ferdinand – Feel The Love Go

Prior to the release of Always Ascending, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand dropped Feel the Love Go; a song founded in a squelchy synth bassline and the quickening *tss* *tss* of hissing cymbals. With lyrics seemingly written by just throwing together a bunch of repeated words – though undeniably pretty catchy – the band, including new members Dino Bardot and Julian Corrie, have put forward nothing hugely ground-breaking, but something a no-nonsense robotic rock record, perked up with some sax towards the end to round off the track in a more promising way than it starts. The instrumentals are definitely the best quality of the song, merging sizzling electronics with back-to-basics indie. The band’s fifth studio album is set for release on February 9th.

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Maximo Park – What Equals Love?

With their upcoming sixth studio album Risk To Exist on its way for an April 21st release, the Newcastle based group have released their third outright single with ‘What Equals Love?’. With the tracks released so far being rather pointed in tone lyrically (which is more than welcome) this track seems to echo Paul Smith’s ability to portray difficulties in human relations with such musicality and sing-a-long quality. It is a nice shift in tone and variety for the album and though using the same tools, this track has many Pop qualities with infectious rhythms, melodies and harmonies. They are a band that have been sending out solid pieces of music, but this is stronger track that will serve their album and their gigs well. 

Owen Riddle 

Field Music – Commontime Review

Field Music are back with their fifth album ‘Commontime’. The Sunderland born brothers, David and Peter Brewis, although rarely heard in mainstream media, have collaborated with such names as Maximo Park and The Futureheads. Their new album is further proof that they could, and should, be seen and heard more frequently in popular music culture.

The album opens with “The Noisy Days are Over’, a loud and energetic track. The first sound to be heard is bold and a bit startling, fitting with the overall message of the song which is to wake up to reality. The overall track is very catchy, with lots of percussion, guitar and a touch of funk. ‘Disappointed’ is another track which could easily become popular. The mellow tones blend with the smooth sounds of the guitar, giving this song a blues-rock feeling. The vocals in this track are divine, giving stunning vocal harmonies which turn this into a stand out sound for Field Music.

’I’m Glad’ has a promising beginning, with a good beat and solid guitar solo; it is clear to see that Field Music have exceptional musical writing abilities. The song, however, is let down by lyrics, which don’t seem to gel with the melody of the music. It is a less polished track, and, in my opinion, seems unfinished and lets the album down a little. Another notable track is ‘It’s a Good Thing’, which is an alternative-rock style song which is brought to life by the stunning vocals. The heavy beat is a superb contrast to the mellow violin, and adds depth to the song. With simplistic, memorable lyrics and beautiful vocal harmonies, this could be a popular track for Field Music.

With a drum-heavy alternative sound, ‘Commontime’ reaches a wide audience. Field Music’s talent stretches to a plethora of genres, with rock, funk and folk being just a few of the sounds touched upon in this album. Although they are an acquired taste, with as many repelled by their music as drawn to it, there are a number of tracks to this album that could be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their musical preference. It is clear to see that a lot of thought went into this album, it has a very deliberate feel, and the musical talent shines through. It is, however, let down by a few anomalies, making this album seem like a diamond in the rough, rather than the finished work of art it should be. Overall, an unexpected gem from these North East lads. Field Music are touring in the UK until 20th March.

Field Music – Commontime = 8/10

Dionne Thompson

Really Good Remixes – Maximo Park – Leave This Island (Mogwai Remix)

Maximo Park and their sorrowful single ‘Leave This Island’ from their 2014 album Too Much Information is often viewed as an appeal to Scotland during it’s growing desire for Independence from the Northumbrian band, to consider the region in the debate. It seems only apt that this song was remixed by Glaswegian band Mogwai who do a brilliant job of giving the song even darker and more sorrowful depths musically, but interestingly remove the lyrics and by extension the message of the song. Nevertheless the sonic charge they give the song works wonders in achieving their aims whilst not changing the musical emphasis of the it.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Sunday Suggestion – Maximo Park – The National Health

From a song by one of the North East’s finest bands in Maximo Park, that seems very apt given the unbearable next five years which ‘our’ country decided to vote for. It’s title and lyrics were initially in protest to the state of the country as a whole in 2012, but it has since took on the double meaning of a song bemoaning the dismantling of the nation’s health service. Without any hesitation, I say that this song acts as the mouth-piece for what the vast majority of our region believes and with another five years of struggles ahead of us, we’ll do what we always do. We remain defiant and dignified in the face of targeted neglect and patronisation. A mentality that is perfectly encapsulated in this track from the band’s self titled fourth studio album.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995