“There’s always been a strong prog/gross synth element to our smart arse indie ways”.
In fairness, that may not entirely be a genuine quote from the Sunderland brothers, I’ll grant you, but one I’m happy to retrieve from the imaginisosphere for them, as it helps me convey to you, the reading listener, that said element has now been given free rein to dominate Field Music‘s 4th LP.
For the uninitiated I fear this may be problematic, as Bros (as we shall heretofore refer to the Brewis Brothers) scattershot their songs into ever more skeletal and disparate forms. The approach on last LP ‘Measure‘ may have been equally as fragmented but the results then were a double album of many songs, not songs within songs within songs. Being a long term admirer of Bros it’s a little tricky to reason if the music might prove too disarming for a first timer (note to Ed. – Mam reviews?), and in all honesty it took some time to get comfortable with it, but with perseverance I’m now happily beguiled.
The back history of the band belies the astounding production at hand – from recording in a community sponsored space in Sunderland to surviving on a salary far below minimum wage (they can’t even afford a smart phone on tour so one of their spouses sends imaginary tweets on their behalf) – and it sounds like it’s been assembled in a proper Rock laboratory by someone with a surname like Axe or Hammer, yet thankfully eschews any sense of sterility and awfulness. Indeed, despite the grandiose flashiness and embellishments there’s a heartening normality to ‘Plumb’, there’s no air of a grand statement or desire to show off, just a band eager to give full flight to their many ideas.
In an age that’s download and track driven, the fact that ‘Plumb’ only really works and flourishes as you invest your time in its entirety may seem a wilfully perverse measure, but we can ever be thankful Field Music listen to no muse other than their own. Bros – always different, always the same.