Stars of Track and Field

Centuries Before Love and War | Wind-Up
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 27, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
This Portland trio lifted its name from a song by Belle and Sebastian, but on their debut full-length, Stars of Track and Field make a sound much bigger than B&S’s tidy twee-pop shuffle. Centuries Before Love and War is full of sweeping, dramatic guitar-rock ballads in the key of U2; though they’re currently pounding the pavement on the mid-level indie-club circuit, these guys aspire to play arenas, where songs expand into celebrations. (Celebrations of what? Oh, the usual: “birds watching from the lines,” “pieces of you in us all,” “white noise from telephones.”) The tunes aren’t always up to the supersized treatment, but producer Tony Lash (Elliott Smith’s old mate in Portland’s Heatmiser) helps the group bring out the modest gift they do have for this kind of stuff, as in “With You,” where they work up to a dizzying climax of guitar, piano, and interwoven harmony vocals. It’s real grandeur, minus the delusion.

Stars of Track and Field + The Long Winters | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave., Allston | March 29 | 617.566.9014
Related: Belle & Sebastian, Belle and Sebastian | The BBC Sessions, High and low culture from Japan, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Sports, U2, Belle and Sebastian,  More more >
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