...There is enough promise here to suggest that Fields could go on to produce...
Chris White 2007-03-28
With a line-up that includes a primary school teacher who wrote the band’s songs in his garden shed, Kylie and Franz Ferdinand’s former hairdresser and the daughter of the composer responsible for Iceland’s national anthem, hotly-tipped London-based indie-rockers Fields should certainly have no shortage of anecdotes with which to charm the legion of fans their debut album Everything Last Winter is expected to recruit.
Only formed last year, the quintet have already been the subject of a fierce record company bidding war and released several critically acclaimed EPs and singles. The question is, do they cut the mustard over the more challenging territory of an entire long-player?
Mostly, the answer is yes. It’s not difficult to understand why Fields have been identified as one of 2007’s most likely breakthrough acts – they employ an epic, soaring guitar sound with memorable choruses, well-executed harmonies and intelligent variations in pace, structure and instrumentation.
My Bloody Valentine are often cited as a key influence, but Everything Last Winter generally lacks the sometimes inaccessible sonic adventure of Kevin Shields’s shoegazing innovators. Rather, the bleak yet defiantly uplifting dynamics of songs like “If You Fail We All Fail” and new single “Chasing The Flames” bring to mind Manchester’s Doves – they’re undeniably loud, but a winning hook is never far away.
The first and last tracks of Everything Last Winter bookend proceedings with confidence and contrast. Opener “Song For The Fields” is a constantly shifting, multi-faceted slab of pomp-rock worthy of vintage Muse, while the concluding “Parasite” pleasingly recalls the Delgados’ modern classic, The Great Eastern. Throughout, the production of Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers veteran Michael Beinhorn is crisp and bold without being overpowering, allowing the disparate elements of leader Nick Peill’s songs crucial room to breathe.
Today’s fickle music scene is often too hasty to eulogise a decent debut by an indie act as the second coming of The Stone Roses, and Everything This Winter certainly doesn’t scale such giddy heights. Nevertheless, there is enough promise here to suggest that Fields could go on to produce something genuinely special in the years to come.