‘Built to Spill’ a listening thrill
Falsetto vocals, bouncy bass lines and an uncanny sense of timing, Field Music is part Queen, part Flaming Lips, part Spiritualized and a little bit Zappa. Factor in this quartet’s own quirkiness and unmistakable British swagger, and the result is a rather awkward but spectacularly different album. The bizarre nature of the band’s music and seemingly uncomfortable song structure is what makes “Field Music” a keeper.
With a very poppy, but soulful sound ” a la horns ” Field Music feels like different things at different moments, but never fails to lose its personality. Not the first and certainly not the last British band to pop up in this new British invasion of sorts, this trio (who get a lot of help from many guests on this album) is a must for anybody who even dabbles in Brit pop or longs for the days when Blur and Oasis ruled the world.
No stranger to massively thick, steeped jams, Built to Spill deliver an album perhaps loaded with more of them than ever before. “You in Reverse” could easily be the band’s best and most thorough work to date. While previous efforts have fallen short of 1999’s classic “Keep it Like a Secret,” almost a decade later “You in Reverse” has vocalist/guitarist Doug Martsch flexing all his skill, and proving indie-rock guitar god status really does exist.
“Goin’ Against Your Mind,” the first and the longest on the album builds, takes away and resurfaces with dreamy perfection, like the most memorable of BTS songs. That impeccable sense of timing is consistent on all ten tracks and the flow so seamless, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the album’s entirety and group songs together. “You in Reverse” is truly a complete album like that, connected from start to finish at every lull, break, go-between and glorious peak.
Gojira’s “From Mars to Serius” might have come out seven months ago and will surely be a hassle for you to find (it’s an import-only), but is worth every painstaking moment if you are a connoisseur of best-of-breed heavier music. These young French death metal experimentalists don’t rely on any formulas and aren’t shy about journeying into different genres to stretch their sound to new levels.
That doesn’t mean “From Mars to Serius” is devoid of a common thread, because the percussive rhythms delivered throughout are so addictive, you may find yourself having to force your own hand to listen to anything else. Flawlessly balancing the heaviest of riffs with rich melodies, Gojira is certainly not the first to bridge the gap between death metal, rock ‘n’ roll and hardcore all at once, but do it with all the trimmings ” bone-crushing breakdowns and amazing solos for the ages.