Review: Field Music - Plumb

 I'm pretty sure bigger things were meant to come of the post-punk revival that hit the world of alternative rock music during the early naughties but changing trends got in the way and the love for the likes of The Strokes, The Hives and (groans) The Libertines and their simple direct in-your-face assault of garage rock and the post-punk style of the late 1970s was replaced by a greater interest and enjoyment for more fragile and creative indie rock of Arcade Fire and Death Cab For Cutie took over instead. The bands from the short lived musical breakthrough that haven't split up or completely re-vamped their style to make sure they stay relevant have basically lost all mainstream recognition and are dirt poor.

 Such is the case with Sunderland musical duo (I think) Field Music, who to be fair are already more substantial than the average post-punk revival group, who really managed to fade from any great recognition to the point where frontman Peter Brewis has stated he only earns "Five grand a year." Anyway, this is irrelevant. The point is Field Music are one of the few surviving groups of the revival and even they've had some time away and a loss of members but are now operating strongly again having released their fourth album, the short and sweetly titled Plumb last month. And it's pretty nice.
 Nice, it is but when hearing it, their labeling as a band with any punk credibility becomes questionable, but the whimsical opening track Start the Day Right is very enjoyable in it's way that with it's symphonic backdrops mixed with smooth vocals of Brewis gives the song a subtle character with an over-the-top underlay to it. The constant segueing of tracks on the album highlights this over-the-top art rock element, bizarrely giving more of an atmosphere of the album being like a musical. Sounds unappealing perhaps, but really there's something fantastic about the sense of curiosity and atmospheric charm created just from the simple musical arrangements put into strong melodies which you can simply lose yourself in.
 The majority of the music on Plumb is under three minutes so it really is a short and sweet experience with a constant change of musical style and attitude meaning listeners can go for uplifting offerings featuring funky bass and drum arrangements as seen in A New Town or they can go for much much more melancholic and chilling offerings such as So Long Then which is probably the saddest a piano jaunt has ever sounded.
 Simply then, listening to Plumb is listening to art rock at it's most charming and good natured. I wasn't too sure of what to expect when listening to this album, since the Field Music songs I had heard were just pieces of simple indie rock but here, they've gone a little more out of the box and made their pleasant sound more atmospheric and exciting than before. It probably should allow the group to earn more than five grand a year, but the total uplifting nature of the album suggests the duo are happy and focused for brilliant things as they are right now.

 Field Music's Plumb is out now via Memphis Industries.