Field Music: Plumb (Memphis Industries) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, May 30th, 2020  

Field Music

Plumb

Memphis Industries

Feb 15, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


 

Plumb marks the return of the brainy Peter and David Brewis, after setting up a new recording space (the previous spot they shared with The Futureheads closed its doors after 10 years). Life goes on, and thankfully so does Field Music.

2010’s Measure was a sprawling double-album, the brothers fresh off their own solo projects, School of Language and The Week That Was. They reunited with a sense of purpose, cranking out over 70 minutes of their finest, most confident, and most effortless work. It was perhaps the closest the fastidious siblings could get to letting it all hang out, right down to a few surprisingly classic-rock moments.

Plumb clocks in at just 35 minutes, but it’s far more opaque than Measure at first listen, a rat maze of persnickety, unpredictable pop that’s more akin to the first few full-lengths. The duo attacks this one with a get-in-and-get-out attitude; of course, they go nearly everywhere one could in a half hour, impeccable musicianship and trademark production/arrangement in tow.

“Start the Day Right” starts the album right, with Lennon-esque vocals over Bonham-esque drums, quickly taking compositional left turns as expected. “Sorry Again, Mate” distinctly brings to mind vintage Yes, before it migrates to a symphonic climax (the string arrangements more prominent throughout this album). “Choosing Sides,” after its bubbly synth intro, is vintage Field Music pop, all jerky verses and a soaring, ruminative chorus.

“A Prelude to Pilgrim Street” is a beautiful climax to the album, and just one example of how close Plumb leans toward being a sort of concept album—a modern musical, even, about our modern mess (“as their eyes glaze unimpressed”), and the furtive steps one takes to define oneself amid the clutter. Through the twists and turns of the album’s second half, it’s quite clear the brothers Brewis are plumbing that existential angst for all it’s worth, in their own singular way, with increasingly deft and able hands. (www.field-music.co.uk)

 

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