'Tones Of Town' is a surprisingly experimental turn for the Mackem three...
Lauren Tones

17:33 18th December 2006

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We suspect that Field Music may have been spending quite a bit of time going through their parent’s old record collection when they weren’t extensively touring the world. Their second album 'Tones Of Town' is an interesting blend of classic Hall and Oates and Paul Simon-esque melodies with that distinctive north-east twang faintly running throughout the eleven tracks. Whereas their counterparts The Futureheads and Maximo Park pack quite a punch with their jerky indie pop, Field Music shake off any obvious comparisons with this melodic, slow burning collection of easy listening songs.

Combining strings and pianos with well-crafted lyrics, 'Tones Of Town' is a surprisingly experimental turn for the Mackem three. However, what should excite the listener comes across as being slightly bland, leaving the three-piece yet to produce that song that will push them into a wider public consciousness. In this self-produced album, we are teased with a few songs that could really do with a good kick up the arse to rescue the whole album from background noise obscurity.

Keeping a similar pace throughout, at first the album is brief and forgettable, almost like a dream, until you get past the first few listens and familiarise yourself with the key tracks. With the band being inspired by an unlikely combination of My Bloody Valentine, The Neptunes, Talking Heads, Serge Gainsbourg and Roxy Music, it seems as if only the older, more classic, influences have made the final cut, with their sound resembling more of the latter musicians of the list.

So what are these ‘key tracks’ we speak of? Obviously, already released singles ‘In Context’ and ‘A House Is Not A Home’ are highlights, but ‘Give It Lose It Take It’ and ‘Closer At Hand’ are also possible contenders for future release status. The orchestral elements of most tracks, in particularly ‘A Gap Has Appeared’ proves that Field Music are not only another indie band, but a highly skilled group of adventurous musicians that are unafraid to incorporate different sounds to their music.

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