Stars of Track and Field – Centuries Before Love and War / 2006 Wind-up / 9 Tracks / http://www.winduprecords.com / http://www.starsoftrackandfield.com / Reviewed 09 March 2007
The cover of “Centuries Before Love and War” seems very organic and natural, but the first track on the disc, “Centuries” seems to have all the electronic accouterments of a Fischerspooner coupled with a tender bit of indie rock that is comparable to the releases of Bright Eyes. The guitar work is intense during “Movies of Antarctica”, which allows Stars of Track and Field to add to their overall sound immensely. Of course, the band’s sound is more diverse than just having a guitar, as the twinkling of back instruments will attest.
The vocals are linked heavily to acts like Coldplay and Snow Patrol. The wide-open guitars are influenced by eighties rock, with more than a passing hint to acts like Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. While the track is four minutes long, the perceived length of “Movies of Antarctica” is much longer, as the band has the talent to stretch out their compositions to seem much longer than they really are. For “Lullaby for a G.I.”, Stars of Track and Field take a much more sedate approach to the track. A dreamy composition sets this track off from anything prior, and the act is able to stay fresh and new to all listeners. “Real Time” has much of the same sedate style, but it is blended here with the same type of guitars that really set off “Movies of Antarctica”. Stars of Track and Field do their best to create a cohesive entity with “Centuries Before Love and War”.
The tracks for the most part could make it onto indie rock radio, but if taken together, provide an interesting story full of depths and heights, darks and lights. The industrial sound that hindered acts like Linkin Park is made quieter and softer to work with the band’s output, providing a quite different background before the act goes into the chorus of their “Arithmatik”. Stars and Track and Field have single-handedly revived the electronic form of indie rock, and did it in such a way that it does not sound derivative or otherwise weak in the slightest. Wind-Up is a label that has tremendous clout, so it should only be a matter of time before the act is given the exposure that they deserve. Regardless of whether you like Depeche Mode, Jets to Brazil, or even Jawbreaker, one will be able to find something that they can appreciate in Stars of Track and Field.
Top Tracks: Arithmatik, Movies of Antarctica