Charlottefield - What Are Friends For (Fat Cat)
27 Feb 2008
"in an age where most bands write a ditty, take a photo, bung it up on myspace, do coke with some journo and taste their fifteen minutes, charlottefield spent a year and a half rehearsing..."; release - '08
If my review's a week late, this is NOTHING compared to the work rate of this most special of bands. What Are Friends For is the follow up to How Long Are You Staying, the blueprint for the modern UK post hardcore scene (Shellac aside, naturally) inspiring current media dah-lings such as Lovvers and Blood Red Shoes, to put up and scream out.
The fact that the aforementioned document was re-recorded three times, and put out across two labels, demonstrates their desire for perfection in the music above all else, shunning trends, release plans and adhering to all of the ideology you'd expect from four vegans from Brighton...
So, how was this album made? They practiced. HARD. In an age where most bands, write a ditty, take a photo, bung it up on MySpace, do coke with some journo and taste their fifteen minutes, Charlottefield spent a year and a half rehearsing. Playing together, learning and refining the essence of the band and their work. Before recording the whole thing Albini style in a week flat.
And now it's released. And enjoyed. And Judged:
Previously, I'd focussed on the immaculate drum and bass combo - extreme, taught and comprised of bondage strap rhythms that keep the structure going across their superb debut. But this time, I really sank into the vocals and guitars, realising that the rhythms were the pebbles under the ocean, rumbling along violently and exfoliating the earth, whilst the guitars were the huge sweeping waves. And the vocals? Humanity, a cathartic wail against insurmountable elements, an unquenchable desire to communicate against the odds and be saved.
If you care about music, and don't care what your friends think, then this is for you. After all, what are friends for.