Field Music – Plumb

written by: February 28, 2012
Release Date: February 14th, 2012


Northern Brittan is home to quartet, Field Music. It’s fairly apparent as well. Their pop sensibility and psych-tinged melodies are ambitiously constructed with vintage themes. Having found a balance between progressive art rock and funky theatrical beats, Field Music’s fifth full-length studio effort Plumb is pleasantly catchy. Core members and brothers, Peter and David Brewis thematically produced this album with the idea of poking fun at the English language, something any lit-nerd can appreciate. Brewed from the hilarity, and confusion, of homophones, Plumb has a plum colored vinyl and album text.

In their 2010 release, Measure, Field Music approached a straightforward style of pop-rock through bouncing guitar riffs and standard song structure. Generally, all of their previous releases have gone through a fine tooth comb of art rock aesthetic. In Plumb, though, a sprinkle of whimsical melodies and funk-infused beats adds a colorful overtone.

“Start the Day Right” is finished with falsetto harmonies and distorted guitar blends. Right off the bat, this album has a slight resemblance of Magical Mystery Tour. The psychedelic glaze over true rock composition is part of it. Another part is the sporadic drum beats in “It’s Okay to Change” and vocal arrangement in “Sorry Again, Mate.” Throughout the entirety of this album, Field Music finds a way to merge the right amount of Beatles influence with original configuration. But it’s hard to deny these Brits’ source of inspiration.

The composition of this album is theatrical and dramatic. Some tracks don’t even reach the minute mark acting as an interlude into the next scene. The second half of Plumb especially plays out a scene in each track. Climactic strings are the backbone of “From Hide and Seek to Heartbreak,” playing out a tantalizing love story. Ending in with soft piano, the track quickly dissolves into a capella “How Many More Times?” Counteracting the lack of instrumentation, “Ce Soir” is an orchestral production with minimal vocals. These three songs act as one complete scene in the album. The short snip-it tracks jump to and from emotions with sensory details and scenic production.

But then, the last two tracks stand by themselves. Going back to the styling of their previous releases, Field Music seems to just drop the drama and re-formulate into a rock band. It’s odd, actually because “Just Like Everyone Else” and “(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing” are standardized and although good, don’t blend well. Then again, it makes the rest of the whimsical album seem like an adventurous dream.

Plumb has multiple personalities. At times, it may seem a bit jumbled but the entire collection is a flowing format from top to bottom and listening to it otherwise may not make too much sense. Some tracks are obviously transcending into one other, but others are slightly more subliminal. All together, though, Field Music has found their niche and successfully broke away from clear-cut art rock.

Field Music – Plumb tracklist

  1. “Start the Day Right”
  2. “It’s Okay to Change”
  3. “Sorry Again, Mate”
  4. “A New Town”
  5. “Choosing Sides”
  6. “A Prelude to Pilgrim Street”
  7. “Guillotine”
  8. “Who’ll Pay the Bills?”
  9. “So Long Then”
  10. “Is This the Picture?”
  11. “From Hide and Seek to Heartache”
  12. “How Many More Times?”
  13. “Ce Soir”
  14. “Just Like Everyone Else”
  15. “(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing