Field Music 

Tones of Town (Memphis Industries)

It's a marvelous thing when virtuosity and songcraft collide the way they do on Field Music's third disc, Tones of Town. The members of the British trio appear joined at the hip (unsurprisingly — two of 'em are brothers) in their offbeat, twisted take on McCartney-influenced pop. At times the immaculate Tones borders on overkill; rapid-fire catchiness clashes with devilishly creative rhythms and rogue melodic detours. Like that of Sufjan Stevens or XTC, Field Music's artistry and technique scores off the charts. Amazingly, the whole bloody mess hangs together like the best of modern-day hipster pop (the New Pornographers, the Shins, Apples in Stereo). If Field Music finally gets the big break it deserves, plenty of sissy American bands are going to be left cowering in their knickerbockers.

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