The Week That Was
The Week That Was
If there's a sibling rivalry brewing in Britain's Field Music camp, it's good news for fans of the Brewis brothers' oblique pop collective. David Brewis' early 2008 release as School of Language found him performing most of the instruments and adding a heavier sheen of distortion to Field Music's futuristic chamber pop. Peter Brewis, by contrast, pursues a more collaborative and pensive route on his solo detour as The Week That Was. His supporting cast includes his brother David, Field Music keyboardist Andrew Moore and various performers on vibraphone, cello, flute and cornet.
The results are just as stunning as anything with “Field Music” on the cover. Intact are the similarities to XTC, another British group that made its peer bands sound like a bunch of ninny schoolgirls. But there's a darker side to The Week That Was that recalls Pink Floyd's The Wall -- stern, plodding numbers about the stress of the daily grind. Also notable are the stark similarities to the Futureheads, a band that Peter Brewis once played drums for. His precise beats – recorded with massive sonic clarity – lay a thumping foundation for tracks like "Learn to Learn" and "Scratch the Surface." This rhythmic pulse is fleshed out with the prominent inclusion of a marimba, which turns tracks like "It's All Gone Quiet" into something more along the lines of Tortoise.
Like Field Music, The Week That Was is defined by dramatic chord changes, dodgy beats and exquisite string arrangements. Its compositions are a touch less schizophrenic, yet they yield just as many breathtaking oohs and ahhs. This is the kind of record I'll listen to until it begs me to stop – knowing full well I'll come back in good time.
-- Richard Gintowt