By Field Music
If it is the quick fix, immediate hook and simple pop satisfaction you seek then you won't find it here. Oh no, Field Music fall very firmly into the "difficult but rewarding listen" category. After their first album received a lukewarm reception from the critics and a positively frosty reception from all but a hardcore on Tyneside, the cynical might point to the fact of success by association, being as they are, constructed from various bits which dropped off The Futureheads and Maximo Park. Tones of Town is an improvement from their debut and shows growth in the levels to which they are prepared to take their experimentation. Yet in all their endless dabbling and chopping up of the norm they still fail to find anything that will satisfy anyone other than the most determined of muso. They sound a little like a cross between Sparks, XTC, Sgt Pepper era Beatles, Modest Mouse and singing with the same North-East twang as their Maximo-head mates. There is plenty of charm and buckets of ideas, in fact they could share some of the ideas around they're in such abundance and perhaps if they did they wouldn't have the constant problem of fitting everything in. Some hardcore repetitive listening although tiring will reap some reward such as the 70s piano-led "A House Is Not A Home" or the lo-fi jerky beats of "In Context" which sees the bands best work to date. Nothing wrong with being clever and challenging but the real trick is to not make your audience feel as if they have to work for it.