FIELD MUSIC Field Music (Measure) (Memphis Industries)
Field Music are a Sunderland band revolving around Brewis brothers David and Peter, and “Field Music (Measure)” is their third, very full-length, album. It’s drawn comparisons ranging between The Blue Nile and Talk Talk at one extreme and Led Zeppelin at the other, theoretically making it Exactly My Sort Of Thing. Unfortunately, though, to my ears it sounds more like Godley & Creme mashed up with teenage indie everymen The Electric Soft Parade. They play clever-clever, awkward music riddled with pointless twisty-turny moments completely uncontaminated by anything that might be mistaken for heart or soul. There’s a woeful dearth of memorable lyrics, apart from when they plug in a big word like ‘subjugate’.
“Choosing Numbers” begins as a kind of acoustic bossa nova thing, all manner of strings and rattling percussion coiling around it, before briefly morphing into landfill indie. “It’s About Time”, which certainly is, crams in McCartney-esque instrumental grandeur, found sounds, a string section and stretches of glorious, welcome silence. “Something Familiar” almost justifies the Blue Nile comparison, the lyrics “Another wet summer to watch from the window/A matinee movie and a cup of tea” resembling the unworthiest Paul Buchanan discards.
In a way, their ability to cover so much musical ground so unappealingly is some kind of talent, but, for all my honest attempts to enjoy it, this album remained a trial from start to distant finish. Under the circumstances even the fact that the double disc vinyl version includes a free copy of the CD seems like a cruel trick to extend the agony of listening to it.