Friday, October 07, 2005

Field Music / S/T / Rating 7.6

buzzing, ornamented, just-too-brief-enough synecdoche

For a minute I thought I was losing my mind. Most of the time I am fairly convinced I am but the first time I played Field Music I thought it was a really cool youthful yet stuttered take on my ultimate guilty prog-rock pleasure, Yes. ( 100% ubsurdly tight but spectacular vocal harmonies)

About 3/4s into the PFM review there it was; a shout out to Yes. I am still short bus special but at least my ears aren’t totally making things up. Aces.

The next thing Field Music reminded me of was Montage, a late 60’s off shoot to the band The Left Banke, both bands I adore. I checked out the Memphis Industry page and discovered a list of Field Music’s admitted influences :

“Listing The Left Banke, My Bloody Valentine, Stravinsky, Thelonious Monk, Stax and Atlantic R&B, Big Star, Jimmy Smith, Serge Gainsbourg, The Neptunes and Duke Ellington among their influences, it's hardly surprising that Field Music's sound is like all of the best pop you ever heard it once, but distinctly British - and distinctly north-eastern - with it.”

Whoohoo ! I nailed the Left Banke thing but I am certain the band would be mortified to know at more than just one person hears a little Yes in there. Thelonious Monk? Ummm…..really ? Are you sure you know the difference between what’s in your stereo at the moment verse what makes it way into the music you make? Anyway…

Every review of this cd I find on line or in magazines harp on Beatles and Beach Boys reference but the last band / record I am obtusely reminded of is XTC’s Skylarking minus the depth of complex lyrical content. Art-pop pulled tightly like a well made bed, I swear you could bounce quarters off this record. I should also mention that the opening track entitled “If only the Moon Were Up” is a long lost sibling (the one lacking of sense of humor) to the Architecture in Helsinki’s track “Frenchy, I’m Faking.”

I am usually weary of side project bands and press releases that boldly highlight ex members of, but the truth is I madly admire both the Futureheads and Maximo Park and it was that very connection that led me to take an audio peak in the first place. You can do the same here:

PFM's The Field Music S/T rating is kind but did not prepare me for all of its glistening listening pleasure. I’m talking 24k bling for your ears and a record destined to make my top 10 of the year. Damn those harmonies, I was hooked by the third track and fan for life by the last.