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

Single Review – Field Music – The Noisy Days Are Over

Sunderland’s Pete and Dave Brewis are back with their new album Commontime expected in February and their new single ‘The Noisy Days Are Over’ to lead the album out. As you’d expect from the brother’s past work the track has a tightly packed and intricate rhythm accentuated with a meandering, low lying bass line and from this their joint vocals ringing out at the peak of the chorus and remaining close and isolated in their verses. It’s rhythmic and subtle groove-laden qualities are only heightened with the addition of Saxophones and wandering riffs. A great piece of intricacy by one of Sunderland’s and the Northumbria’s finest groups.

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

Single Review – Paul Smith & Peter Brewis – Exiting Hyde Park Towers

Two key leading lights of North East music have come together to create an album titled Frozen by Sight which will be out on November 17th. These two leading lights in collaboration are Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith (A Tynesider via Teesside) and Peter Brewis of Field Music (A man of Wearside) and their album is to be centred around Smith’s travel writing and Brewis’ chamber orchestra arrangements with each track relating to a place or location and intends to take you from the shores of North East England to Los Angeles. Their latest track from the album is entirely evocative of the album’s intended nature. ‘Exiting Hyde Park Towers’ has that gradual rise and fall of the louder piano chords and tumbling percussion with Smith’s vocals slotting between each musical signpost for a gentle and sweeping feel that is enhanced by the fine strings linking the parts together. A song with subtle instrumental flexibility and vocal intricacy.

Single Review – School of Language – Between The Suburbs

School of Language is the solo project of Field Music’s David Brewis from Sunderland. He is following up the project’s 2008 debut Sea From Shore with Old Fears which is set for an April 7th release. ‘Between The Suburbs’ is one of the first tracks to be unveiled from the new album and a simple and smooth piece of electronica. The stop star nature of the percussion is built upon by the soft but lower toned falling of the synths. This is offset by the higher pitched vocals David provides and backing vocals of a similar elk. Despite this, it remains calm and cool in keeping with the instrumental feel of the song. For the most part the guitars provide an added texture and an underlying rhythm that are sometimes used to compliment the vocals by also rising above the prominent synth sounds. A simple song that is at ease with itself. Keep an eye out for the album in April.

http://youtu.be/qjLUM4xSRDc

Image from www.brooklynvegan.com