Force Fields & INSTRUMENTS Celebrate New Albums, TONIGHT at the Seahorse! // Album Reviews


Instrumental music, while experiencing something of a revival in both Halifax and the world music stage at large, is still largely a genre relegated to the side lines, to be enjoyed by music nerds and vinyl collecting hipsters. Or so the stereotype might lead you to believe, if not for the growing popularity of long running Maritime instrumentalists Force Fields

Having seen as many of their shows as reasonably possible, it's very clear to me that it's not just music nerds like me enjoying these tunes. They've consistently drawn a crowd of rock fans, punks, metalheads, jazz lovers, and those who sing along to the radio. At no point after the first thunderous and twisted notes of any Force Fields set have I ever seen anyone walk away in boredom or disinterest, but only in shock and awe after the final song has faded. You will dance, you will laugh, you screw up your face in confusion and wonder, “How the hell did they do that?”

Despite having been a band for close to a decade now, they don't have a massive back catalog of recorded hits, so every cut of wax or digital track is eagerly anticipated by all their fans; the newest treat is a two song 7” record (the final release of the Noyes Records Singles Series) featuring "Subtle Hanky" b/w "Fallonscraph" – two tracks you've no doubt heard in their live sets but which deserve your close attention in the comfort of your living room.

Having spun these two tracks back to back every other day over the last few weeks, I'm still stead fast in my assessment that these gentlemen are very likely the most talented and brilliant band on the east coast and very likely in all of Canada, in any genre. In 20 years, during the next “post rock” revival (post-post-rock?) these guys will no doubt be a defining example of the genre, though to pigeon hole them to one narrow category doesn't do justice to the jazz, rock, and electronic influences that shape their work.

Happily, to really drive home a solid point about the strength of the Canadian music scene, Force Fields are officially releasing this album tonight at the Seahorse with another of the longest running, hardest working bands on the east coast, INSTRUMENTS. Having played together in various forms since sometime in the 90's, the minimalist 3-piece stretches and bends the space-rock genre in just the right ways, delivering satisfying repetition with haunting vocals and swirling synths in just the right doses. 

Their new album, The End of Light by Heat, finds the band perfecting their formula of tight, metronomic drumming, deep bass, and echoing vocals with more confidence than previous records. Vocals are less buried in the mix and there's even a guitar solo. It's a record you will want to pick up and listen to all winter, as the days grow fittingly shorter and colder. (Check out our Twitter & Instagram pages in the next little bit, for your chance to win a free copy!)

Finally, it's also nearing the end of days for the old Seahorse, which has recently announced it's move to the basement of the current Marquee Ballroom. I literally can't think of a single reason to miss this show, but remember it starts early – doors are at 8:30 – so don't be that guy; the days are getting shorter so come and celebrate the cold and dark with two bands guaranteed to ease the transition in our coming winter days.

Check out the FB Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1497407487176825/?ref=br_tf

 - Dan Nightingale

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