Monday, October 29, 2012

Nite Fields-Vacation 7" (2012)

I've never been to Brisbane, Australia, but the welter of hot new bands from there makes me wanna start selling coke so I could afford a trip: Kitchen's Floor, Meat Thump, Cured Pink, and, in a different register, Nite Fields.

Whereas most Brisbane bands I've heard lately specialize in charmingly ramshackle "Downer Pop" (Matt Kennedy's words), Nite Fields is another trip altogether. Following on their split with Happy New Year,  this two-song EP finds Nite Fields refining and deepening the atmospheric glum rock found therein.

"Vacations" opens with a snare lick that tips its hat to the opening of "Decades," before laying down an insistent guitar note that slowly builds into a swirling, hypnotic post-punk revel. The synth and drums layer each other to create dense cloud of gloom, with the singer maintaining the one-foot-in-the-grave monotone on "Come Down." This would be a great opener or closer to a darkwave night at yr local bar.

"Hell/Happy" is more downed out and somber. Ethereal might be the right adjective here: synth and cymbals swirl in and out of focus while the guitar and bass pluck away in an inobtrusive way. The whole thing makes you feel like you just ate a few Xanax and wandered into a fogbank.

I'll add Nite Fields to my list of reasons why the Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney arc is where it's at these days, musically. Listen to the EP here. If you're Down Under, catch 'em at the Lost Race festival November 17; you can get tickets from the Lost Race site.

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