Nite Fields - Depersonalisation - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Nite Fields - Depersonalisation

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2015-02-02

Taking cues from predecessors like The Cure and trailblazing shoegazers of the past, Australian four-piece Nite Fields have added their own footprints to the soil with debut album Depersonalisation. While they may not exactly be pioneers in the genre, they've managed to pay appropriate homage while simultaneously crafting their own brand of introspective musings.

One thing that can confidently be said about Depersonalisation is that its themes of isolation and loneliness following a perceived loss of self stretch tautly over the album and seal in the murk that pervades almost every corner. Thematically this is a strength, but it weakens a little in the thick and heavy parts where the mood isn't evenly spread. However, its 34-minute length keeps it from spilling completely over the edge into emotional oblivion.

Whether it's the longing ache of 'Fill The Void' ("Take the hole in my heart/ and fill the void/ every piece blown apart/ for you to enjoy") or the bi-polarity of 'Hell/Happy', with its "Round and round and back and forth we go" chorus, it's obvious the weather isn't going to change much.

The industrial, clanging metal percussion of 'Come Down' lends a back-alley gloominess to lead singer Danny Venzin's low-pitched, flat vocals. It's claustrophobic, but not altogether suffocating. There's just enough room to breathe as you make your way out of the dark, and that first gasp for air is what makes the track a rewarding listen.

There are a couple bright spots that push away some of the oppressive air, at least in terms of musicality. 'Prescription' is light on its feet with poppy, yet ruminating guitars backed by a driving drum-track that kicks out some of the doom and gives the song a defiance to match its lover's-quarrel concerns. 'Like a Drone' strums along steadily as a light acoustic reprieve with the only female vocal on the album, and quite welcome at that.

Wrapped in a silky, shimmering curtain of hazy guitar, 'Winter's Gone' conjures 1986-era Cocteau Twins. The dreamy, gauzy spirit of Victorialand opener 'Lazy Calm' haunts the atmosphere as a fog descends with misty saturation before a disembodied saxaphone rolls out of the cloud near the end. It's the perfect closer on an album that deals in shade rather than color.

Where Nite Fields succeed is in their ability to create a sustained mood of mostly mournful tunes that taken together result in a funereal, dirge-like quality. Although slight in length, Depersonalisation's presence is heavy enough to leave a mark.

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