21 Jul 2019

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Feildings Best Dancers - EP Review: Feildings Best Dancers

12 Dec 2018 // A review by Peter-James Dries

In the words of your mum, Feildings Best Dancers is short, hard, and over far too soon. But she also said Thistle Highland Dancers were the best dancers in Feilding, so what does she know.

For those that haven’t heard of Feilding, it’s Palmerston North’s illegitimate sibling. They can be easily confused, the two. They’re both urbanised rural towns with no future, though one has the inflated ego that comes with being bigger and insists on being called a city. The other, and the residents within, are doomed to forever be associated with Palmy. And that famous fratricide.

They’re both as shit as each other, but at least they have one thing going for them; they’re not Marton.

This album’s kinda like that too, I guess.
Compared to Evermore – Feilding’s most commercially famous band – this album is a bit shit in the traditional sense. But you know what; at least it isn’t Evermore.
Disclaimer: if you like Evermore, this probably isn’t the album for you.

Seemingly a walking in-joke I’m not part of, from a scene I was never really involved with, Feildings Best Dancers self-titled EP is the Christmas present I never asked for, but unlike that pair of socks I got last year, I actually got some use out of it.

Idiosyncratic and distinct from the Churlington mother-ship this scout splintered from, FBD retains a few elements that makes the main band great. It’s tongue-in-cheek and self-aware, from the train-of-thought lyrics, to the hand drawn track artwork, to the track-list set out like the heats to some “reality” dance show, each track a showdown between the band and some personal ailment, like the accusation of being from Palmy, sobriety, or kidney-stones.

Noticeably, the EP is really short. Short enough to warrant “little man syndrome”. I’ve never listened to a full Evermore album, but I listened to this EP at least six times on my way to work. The 9 tracks have a total length of three regular songs (or one off Lateralus).

Oh, well. Quality over Quantity, I guess, or so the idiom goes…
Except… The album doesn’t really have that either.
Fuzzier than Sonic the Hedgehog’s ass, it sounds like it was recorded in a garage with just a guitar, an effects pedal, some drums, two bogans with ADHD, and the need. The need for speed. Then someone released the raw files in situ, with limited mastering or mixing, off to fight the Loudness Wars against itself. Churlington was an exercise in restraint, toeing the line between distorted and destroyed. Feildings Best Dancers show the line who its daddy is.

Yet, somewhere beneath the superficial unlistenability, there’s an enjoyable album. Full of energy, technical proficiency, and a strict adherence to the DIY aesthetic. I especially like the way that beneath the distortion, through my $10 Warehouse headphones, the vocals stop being words and become more like an instrument.

Sometimes, when doing a review, I find myself justifying albums to hypothetical people in my head. Poking holes in their reasons for not liking an album I enjoy.

“It’s too loud.”
Well, precious. It is Punk…It makes a point of being obnoxious.

“What are they even saying?”
Again… It’s Punk. It isn’t about lyricism. It’s about the energy. It’s not what they say, it’s how they say it. And there’s lyrics embedded in the mp3s. Read them on your iPod. See; this one is about there only being cheese in his McCheeseburger.

I do this unintended ritual, but the thing is most people, hypothetically and in general, aren’t going to bother judging the music.
They’re not likely to even hear it.
If it’s not one of the industry’s latest pushes, or a 90's song that’s come back into fashion, people, in general, not even going to press play on Spotify.

It’s the same disappointing realisation I have whenever I find a local underdog. I mean these guys are going to be big in the Palmy Punk/Rock scene, in no small part thanks to the Swamp shows on Radio Control spreading their sound. But I feel like the reach should be bigger. More people should be hearing this kind of off the beaten track albums. Sure, the internet has made it easier for the common person to upload music they’ve made, whether they should have or not, but then because everyone has an album on the internet, you’ve never going to find it.

I guess, it doesn’t matter. On stage is the best place for this project. It will show Feildings Best Dancers what Palmy’s worst dancers look like in a mosh pit. Or on tape. This would be good on tape. The album sounds like an artefact of the tape scene. Put it on a tape.

I guess what I’m really doing by defending these unheard recordings, is justifying to myself why I like it. Rationalising the gut feeling that I like this. Because Feildings Best Dancers’ new eponymous… can you call it an album…Shouldn’t work. But it does.

With Churlington‘s fan base in the pocket of their jean shorts, these guys will be alright. They’ll have the groupies and fans willing to look past the superficial and give it a chance, and if you’re reading this and not in the band, you should too. The songs are great. The recording is as shit as it’s meant to be, but I’ve listened to it more than most reviews.

I appreciate this further evidence that a lack of effort can produce favourable results. I’ll give this five.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Feildings Best Dancers

Feilding….self-proclaimed Friendliest Place in New Zealand…14 times winner of Most Beautiful town…strong hold of the mighty Feilding United Football club…the birthplace of Jonah Lomu’s kidney…the best mini gold course in the Manawatu…and birthplace of the double cheese burger pie…oh, yeah and Feildings Best Dancers come from here too.

Who are Feildings Best Dancers, you ask…well they are Dan and Brodie…or Uncool Dan and Chode…or really cool Dan and Chode…or really cool Dan and really Chode…either way does it really matter…no…they are two…and together they are Feildings Best Dancers.

Can they dance, you ask…can they!!! We say...they studied dance at the School of Peter Garrett…everyone should dance like Peter Garrett…the world would be a better place.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Feildings Best Dancers


Feildings Best Dancers
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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