Friday, March 25, 2016

Field Music - The Effects -- DC9 - Mar 24 2016

by John Miller

The Effects - There is an unmistakable feeling of shoe gaze as tonight's opener begins. Triplets with chorus tend to do that. But as everyone makes their way in, the composition becomes friendlier; less about contemplating that one time you blew your chance doing something that was ultimately unimportant and more about moving forward. The theme of change will run through both sets tonight as both bands fail to adhere to a particular genre, their compositions always twist and turn in unexpected ways.

I was surprised how long it took me to find out who it was that I was listening to; though they could be anybody really as they have yet to introduce themselves. How easily I get distracted. The Effects have yet to release a full length but that doesn't stop them from sounding polished. However, despite the polish there are still some unmistakable characteristics of a newer band finding their footing; lack of banter, long pauses in between songs to tune, etc.  It's an interesting mix of post punk that considering the city's history, you don't hear too much nowadays. The compositions are kind of all over the place but in a good way; weird time changes, pauses and some bass and guitar fills that sound excessively complicated. As they move into what must be their eighth piece, conformation is made and they finally introduce themselves. Their last piece has to be the most ambitious; moderate to soft, then into full prog rock mode as they go on for a good eight minutes just finding their way to the end. Really good show and count me disappointed The Effects don't have a proper full length to purchase yet. 

Field Music - Ava Marie opened the Field Music set tonight. It took me some time to figure that out. I was singing along in my head but couldn't place it; must have been the accordion. The guitar begins with a steady staccato, picking away, laying the foundation. It reminds me of the Ting Tings 'That's Not My Name' which in turn reminds me of Niles Rodgers. And the way the two vocalists harmonize could be best described as Kate Pierson backing up a much friendlier Morrisey. It's like a dance party for the cool kids circa 1984

This is the first time Field Music has played as a four piece. I felt like that needed to be said as the first guitarist let it be known that there may be issues. No issues whatsoever. You can usually tell how good a show is going by the amount of people dancing like no one is around. There are a few tonight; however one woman to my immediate right hasn't stopped moving since the quick picking started the show. Everyone has given her ample space to do her thing. What I wouldn't have done for someone to dance at one of my shows.

So cool kids from 1984: third song in, Field Music switch duties; guitarist is now on the drums and drummer takes over the guitar duties and the dance party changes. It's less cool kids and more pop, with occasional flourishes. It's different but it's just as good. And damn if that keyboardist isn't steady, singing harmonies too. Ultimately these changes could be quite distracting, however Field Music are so strong in regards to their song writing that those changes don't matter. As trite as it sounds, that theme of a good fucking time remains a constant throughout.

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