The brothers Brewis have never been afraid to follow any and all ideas to fruition, whether in excess (2010s sprawling double Measure) or brevity (2012s Plumb), Top of the Pops be damned, and this has always meant each and every record is never an easy beast to wrestle with, the listener absolutely must spend time allowing them to slowly unfold and slide into focus.
Where Plumb was an onslaught of tight and sharp ideas that lingered for less than the duration of this sentence, Commontime sees them take an opposite tact. Ideas are left to linger and repeat and playfully invite you to cut some rug (no pictures, sorry).
And it’s a hoot, from start to finish. The minimal 80’s funk of David Brewis’s School of Language LP has had some bearing here, and the sparseness is a little jarring at first, but repeated listens allow you to fill in the gaps and the dot to dot melodies join up and flourish.
When they do go plush, typically on Peter Brewis’ tunes, it’s utterly luscious and spectacular without ever being pompous, even when the stark ‘trouble at the lights’ resolves into a coda resembling the Beatles ‘I want you’, the effect is jaw dropping.