Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Reviews:: Fields Everything Last Winter

Click here for the Fields record. You might have seen the indie click banner on countless sites over the last few weeks, and usually I shy away from those albums for two reasons. The first: Usually the records that are mass marketed on the ole indie click systems aren’t actually that good and come attached with quotes from mags I hate (“2007 will surely be theirs” – NME). The second: Well to be honest, we aren’t big enough to get added to the advertising world, so those records are a constant reminder that our status is not the baddest.

The thing is, the Fields record – Everything Last Winter – actually deserves the attention it is getting. The band made a complete shift of sound from their dynamite 7 From The Village EP. They still rely on nicely matched girl/boys vocals, but they have evolved into a large scale anthem band. Even the subtle textures and sounds (like You Don’t Need This Song) really have an underlying feeling of significance that wasn’t present on the last EP. I don’t know if it is the pull of the major label, or just simply the fact the band has the talent and maybe the desire to be a household name, but this album seems focused on making that big step. School Books is a prefect example. The gentle soothing intro gradually breaks down into a triumphant, driven march and fits well with the swirling, chaotic guitars of the Death.

For fans of the original EP, I can see how the extra polish and super sized efforts could be a bit of a letdown – for example, the new version of Song for the Fields doesn’t live up to the original, but I don’t see the overall transition as a negative aspect. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a band trying to approach things on a more grandiose scale, as long as they don’t let it destroy the music they are writing. The band still combines shoegaze, folk melodies and powerful choruses; they just do it in a more polished manner. I think a lot of this can be attributed to the production work of Michael Beinhorn (I choose to ignore the fact this is the same person worked with Korn and mention that he turned dials for Mew, another band that has a knack for creating soaring, arena style rock for an indie audience). His presence and past projects really show up on a lot of tracks (like the RHCP tinges on School Books).

For any doubters, simply listen to If You Fail We All Fail and you will realize that sometimes running a shammy over the hood of your car can really make it sparkle.

MP3:: Chasing the Flames

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Posted at 7:05 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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