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ARCHIVES | 2006 | MUSIC | CHARLOTTEFIELD


Biography

"Charlottefield must be getting mightily tired with the comparisons to DC hardcore that always seem to accompany opinions about their music.

Singer/guitarist Tom House has a rich, plaintive voice that he could perhaps make more use of; his choice to holler and scream most of the vocals invites such one-eyed comparisons to DC-ism, but this is, to be certain, far from the sum total of Charlottefield.

 

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While most emphasise the sheer violence of the vocal onslaught, itís more rewarding instead to immerse yourself in the deep melody underneath it all.

In this respect, Charlottefield are as English as Kentish real ale. Where precisely this influence originates is anyoneís guess. Some point to The Fall, but itís not an obvious comparison.

 

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They donít do shambolic charm. In Ashley Marlowe, Charlottefield possess one of the tightest and most expressive drummers around, and Chris Butlerís bass often stands aside to let the guitars have their say. And those guitars? They chime like angels and rock like bastards.

Charlottefield also experiment with time signatures that put at least one of their collective feet in the math rock camp. And if you go by the totality of the songs themselves, youíre still struggling to pin them down." - Phil Whalley

In May 2005, they released the critically acclaimed 'How Long Are You Staying' on the prestigious label FatCat. At the Rh‚‚‚ Lovely Festival, theyíll play an exclusive show in Belgium!

 

Discography

-) 2002 : 'Picture Diary' 7" on FatCat.

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-) 2003 : 'Again / For Absent Companions' 7" on Jonson Family.

Diskant's point of view :

[...] Brighton-based Charlottefield have already released a great 7" as part of the outstanding Fat Cat series, and their contribution to this split release is equally as impressive. In their allocated two and a half minutes, this band blaze through their track 'Again' with an abundance of conviction and gusto. This exhilarating blast of frenzied post-punk rawness suggests that this could only have been recorded in a rat-infested barn in the middle of the English countryside. The sleeve notes confirm this.

John Coburn - website.

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-) 2004 : 'Firewood' on Jonson Family.

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-) 2004 : 'Noisestar Session III and IV' 12" on Noisestar.

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-) 2005 : 'How Long Are You Staying' on FatCat.

Drowned In Sound's point of view :

The sunshine does monstrous things to a young man's mind-set.

Sure, those initial rays on a late spring evening are blessed relief after a winter of miserable drizzle and months spent in shadows, but the heat on the head and the glare in the eyes distorts one's logic; senses are scrambled into a state of volatility, where the merest misdemeanor can trigger brutal violence after a few pub garden pints. This is where Charlottefield come into the equation. I, personally, am a calm drinker, more than likely to turn the other way if faced by an aggressor. With How Long Are You Staying (note: no question mark) in the background, though, I'll take my chances.

And chances are you'll walk away with half of this pint glass stuck in your cheek.

Violence is rife throughout this long overdue eight-track debut album (29 minutes start to stop), from the bloodied hands of the catwoman on the cover to the frantic screams of the very first song, 'Nine Tails'. It's an album of extremes, where nary a single guitar string is left unscathed by the recording process and every drum skin is sliced to shreds come a song's conclusion. While we're on the subject, a simple fact: Charlottefield possess the best drummer in Britain, maybe. Listen to this a few times and that'll become apparent; you'll want to sell a loved one to pay for lessons. Guitars? Nah: listen to this a few times and you'll begin imagining the innumerable ways in which they can be obliterated. Me? I choose incineration - no chance of a pretty corpse. Charlottefield's are certainly hellbent on self-destruction.

'Paper Dart' has been heard before on Jonson Family's Two Minutemen compilation, but sounds fantastically fresh in an album context. It's the final song to be characterised by those hellhound shrieks, the last song to sound something like an disfigured Fall/Jesus Lizard split seven-inch played at compact disc speed, as the climactic 'Weevils' is the greatest instrumental six-and-something rock and roll minutes never to have been written by Lightning Bolt. Again, the drumming is phenomenal to the extent of sometime disbelief. Charlottefield don't only deal in bombast though: as agitated as the guilty parties so obviously are, they nevertheless craft a kind of subtle splendour with understated mid-album effort 'How Long'. To some it'll come as relief akin to those first slivers of sunshine through a cloudy sky.

To another it'll comprise a hindrance, a moment's weakness not to be repeated. They'll skip it in time, tuning in only to the rage around the resplendence. They'll absorb this so that it echoes within their skull while fucking a former best friend's face in, submitting to the primal and the passionate. It'll infect their blood and corrupt their heart. It's the catalyst, the slipping from the knife's edge into blood-spilling chaos. Promise me you'll watch where you're drinking on a midsummer's eve.

Mike Diver - website.

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Audio

-) live tracks on Myspace.
-) 'How Long Are You Staying' tracks on FatCat's website.
-) 'Picture Diary' tracks on FatCat's website.

 

Web

-) Official site.
-) Myspace.
-) FatCat.
-) Jonson Family.
-) Noisestar.