Nite Fields / Vacation 7 inch
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The same way that this place only serves biscuits or that place specialises in nothing but hot dogs, Brisbane band Nite Fields are culinary wizards with an appetite for distortion, echo, bass heavy shoegaze and misery-drenched pop. Dilettantes might hear Joy Division in their sound, but connoisseurs will taste hints of Puerto Rico Flowers, Disappears or fellow Aussies Total Control, mixed on top of swirling walls of guitar.
Their latest 7 inch opens with Martin Hannett 'is it live or drum machine?' style drums and a repetitive, hypnotic guitar riff, sparse decorating on an entryway that unfolds into a grand mansion of bleak beauty. It's hard to imagine this as a holiday tune despite the song title 'Vacation', and it's equally hard to discern much of what the lead singer is saying. The b-side's title of 'Hell/Happy' is more appropriate, as it sounds like 'Leif Erikson' if Interpol had been beaten, stripped of their suits, and left locked in a sweltering Queensland basement all summer.
Lead singer Danny Venzin sounds like he'd look like some Addams Family Lurchcharacter, so I was surprised when I met him that he speaks in complete sentences and is the opposite of scary. Full disclosure: Danny works for us here at The Thousands, but thankfully, when he asked me to review his new album it was a pleasure rather than a chore, as I have been a fan of Nite Fields' music since before I knew he worked for us; back when I envisioned him a tall bat eating misanthrope. Nite Fields have pioneered an inventive mix of prettily intricate shoegaze noise, pop hooks, and downer vibes; each new release is striking on its own, and whets your appetite for what they might cook up next.