Track & Field – ‘Natural Light’

By Liam Knowles

Leeds has always been a hotbed of talent, and has always been great at producing bands that do things their own way with little regard for what’s ‘expected’ of them. The members of Track & Field have been active within that scene for years in bands like The Plight and The Afternoon Gentlemen, but there’s not a party riff or blastbeat in sight on ‘Natural Light’. Instead we’re treated to ten tracks of infectious emo/indie rock; the perfect warming soundtrack for these cold winter months.

It’s difficult to draw direct comparisons to Track & Field; there are elements of The Appleseed Cast and American Football but without the odd time signatures and post-rock elements. Instead the band focus on solid song structures and keeping things relatively simple musically to make room for Michael Grogan’s booming voice, which is particularly effective on the likes of ‘Drown’ and ‘Reaching’. The vocal melodies themselves are extremely catchy without ever verging on cheesy pop territory, with ‘Horizons’ and ‘Stitches’ both boasting choruses that Jimmy Eat World would be proud of. The guitars throughout the record shimmer in all the right ways but provide punch when needed, locking in perfectly with the extremely precise rhythm section to drive the songs forward.

‘Natural Light’ is a fantastic album but it does feel like Track & Field still have room to grow, as at times things do seem a little linear. The track ‘Ashes’ feels a lot more dynamic and unpredictable than anything else on the record and it would be great to see them channel a bit more of that slightly off-kilter element on future releases. Overall though this record shows bags of promise and considering that at the time of writing this the band have been booked to support emo / pop-punk legends The Movielife, it’s sure to help them go on to bigger and better things.

LIAM KNOWLES

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