Fredericton cult favourites Force Fields announce full length album and a rare live performance September 14 at the Capital Complex.
Force Fields are like that old fixer-upper your uncle keeps under a tarp in the back shed. It may only get out for a rip around the block once every few years but when it does, the whole neighbourhood rushes to the street to watch it drive by.
And lucky for us, it’s that time once again. Force Fields will return to the Capital Complex for a performance on September 14 as part of the venue’s 20th anniversary celebrations. And that’s not all. After more than a decade of music making, at least one name change and as many as three different drummers, Force Fields have also announced the release of Whatever Pie, the band’s first full-length album.
“This was recorded out in Durham, New Brunswick at Brad Perry’s place years ago,” said bassist Kyle Cunjak. “So long ago I don’t even remember. We released the Subtle Hanky 7″ in 2014 from these sessions but then didn’t have enough money to finish it so it just sat and gathered dust.”
Over the past decade the members of Force Fields have performed as members of the David Myles Trio, Snailhouse, Grand Theft Bus, Catherine MacLellan’s band, Some Dads, The Olympic Symphonium and so many other projects it would take hours to even come close to compiling a comprehensive list. But Force Fields sound nothing like any of these bands. There is in no way any comparison between the Force Fields and the many other projects these guys are involved with. Zero. But that’s all part of what makes this band and their music so fascinating.
Whatever Pie’s nine tracks begin with the nine minute jam Zero Zero Zero, a track that gives listeners a pretty good idea of what to expect from the album. It’s all there: the peaks and valleys, the loud parts that make you want to bang your head, and the soft counterbalanced phrases that offer a chance to catch your breath, all engulfed in a left-of-centre approach that while remaining familiar, keeps the listener ever so slightly on edge. It’s clever music making at it’s best.
Despite being the band’s first full length album, fans of the group will most likely treat Whatever Pie like a greatest hits package. Some of the songs, if not all of them, have been part of the band’s live set for years. Zero Zero Zero, Robot Milk, Erase Dwarf, and the title track can all be heard on a 2010 live recording posted on the group’s Bandcamp page.
As a collective unit, Force Fields’ strength is obvious and admirable. They possess an undeniable synchronicity on stage, a collective mind that gravitates naturally to displaced beats, unusual scales and unexpected progressions that seem to challenge both the band and their audience to move beyond convention and expectation. There’s a defiance, a sense of rebellion and a curiosity that carries through the whole album.
Some people will tell you Force Fields have reached cult status. And plenty of people would agree.
Whatever Pie will be officially released August 24, 2018.