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A new Field Music album is always a delicious proposition – and this, the band's fourth, offers much to sate the appetite. Off-kilter song structures, a rhythm section reminiscent of the kitchen drawer being emptied at the top of the stairs, and frequent homage paid to the protagonists of new wave all characterise the approach of Sunderland brothers Peter and David Brewis throughout Plumb.
The pair recently joked that the band had become more multicultural – Peter's moved up to Newcastle and their new bassist, Andrew Lowther, has a season ticket at St James' Park. But Field Music's endearingly weird Wearside aesthetic remains in place. Plumb ploughs furrows that the band and its listeners have explored together before. As Loyd Grossman might intone: "The asymmetric pop, the slinky sing-alongs, the noirish noises..." All are present and correct.
If anything the brothers have upped the wonk factor on Plumb: the home-made beats and undersea bubbling on Choosing Sides present a real challenge to your ears. It’s a particularly good example of the fare this lot trade in, its tempo and character shifting like the sands. In comparison, some of the straighter songs can seem a little underwhelming – for example, A Prelude to Pilgrim Street is a decidedly flat glam blowout. But such lacklustre moments are few.
Unusually, Plumb’s final song sounds like it should be its first. First single (I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing is a rousing, pleasing stomp, comprising this album's answer to previous 'hits' such as Effortlessly and In Context. Although there aren't more efforts like this, there is a thread of romantic disappointment which neatly and appealingly runs through the record. On the wonderfully English-sounding Sorry Again, Mate – the song title alone will have Anglophile Americans reaching for Skype to contact someone (anyone) they know across the Pond for some soothing British diction – there are lovely licks of sadness and solitude. "Can I afford another day on my own / Sat in the kitchen with the radio on?" the band asks, forlornly.
This suburban, provincial sweetness – a tasty concoction far removed from the fashion-focussed silliness of London in both geography and intent – is eminently loveable. Not that the Mackem minstrels can't go glitzy. Listen to A New Town. It sounds like a Justin Timberlake track. That alone is a boggling but brilliant statement of intent, wouldn't you say?
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The Brewis brothers make perfect, poppy intelligent albums. No flab, no filler. Just concise, meticulously crafted songs which are a joy to listen to- the production and flow of... Read morePublished 20 months ago by D C Thompson
Came earlier than expected, put a right smile on my face, particularly as I was having a bad week, I listen to this over and over againPublished 23 months ago by Mizzie
A friend of mine turned me on to this band, the Brewis Brothers are the modern equivelent of some 60s and 70s bands like the Kinks, the Who, ELO, the Jam, the spark and crackle... Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2013 by bluesmaddave
I took a punt on this. I saw about 1min of the band playing live and though I'd check out this offering. It's pretty good and I'd say that it's very ambitious. Read morePublished on 26 April 2013 by O
Turns out what I thought was a new band have in fact been around for a long time. Worth buying for "I keep thinking about a new thing" alone! Read morePublished on 5 Oct. 2012 by grovesey
I was idly looking through the Mercury prize nominees and listening to samples of the various acts. A strand lead me to FIELD MUSIC and a week later I am the very excited owner of... Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2012 by Mr G. Baker
Having read the rare negative reviews of this album I still feel I have to bump the ratings up a bit. Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2012 by bish
Heard 'New Town' on 6 and tried it out. It's REALLY good. Kind of like a contemporary Gentle Giant but with far nicer clothes. Read morePublished on 21 May 2012 by PMN
The Sunderland brothers, Peter and David Brewis return with a mix up to their line-up and their fourth studio album. Read morePublished on 11 April 2012 by Serena Doherty