If you go by the moniker Field Medic, your soul is intact and hard work is just your personality. Now you may be saying “Field Medic…Field Medic…Rin Tin Tiger, Sullivan, I can’t figure out why that sounds so familiar to me.” To which I would ask what it is like to be in a coma for nearly three years and promptly thrust the latest EP, P E G A S U S T H O T Z, at you and demand you not be bothered until you’ve given it at least three goes.
Clay: The hard work/rushing thing is the excuse I use when I only write a review once every two weeks or so. It works great in my head.
Now, I have been in great health, and I just sat down and listened to this album three times. Besides noticing it comes full circle with its drumbeat which makes for a trippy music loop when you hit “repeat,” I did wonder if I missed a gap in time. This album is a different animal than prior Field Medic ventures, especially the title track (which has a shorter running time than it takes to type out the name) and “A PIKTURE OF U” with their pop structure and electric drumbeats.
Through Kevin Sullivan’s experimentation, however, the bones of the brand of folk he employs are still there: combining his halting tenor with pensive lyrics and rainy-day guitar chords, every song invokes “sad” without being overly lugubrious. The trick to that is intelligent poetry that allows the listener both a glimpse at the inner workings of the artist but allow them to reach a place inside themselves without being heavy-handed. There is plenty of said poetry abound in all of Sullivan’s work.
I agree, there is no compromising of values with the quick turnaround on the album, just more fruit bore from a prolific songwriter. I take every song in and then come back asking “more please.”
Greg: The EP most certainly is a new creation. When listening to the title track, for example, I thought there was another song playing and I searched for what was making the beat. To my amusement it is the no-holes-barred approach of a singer/songwriter we cannot take for granted. With an enlightened grin, probably looking like an idiot to anyone who couldn’t hear what was going on in my head, I found the layers to be chaotically pleasing.
But that is precisely what makes Field Medic so grand, the simple ballads dance among sudden stops and layered songwriter chaos in a display that would have Giorgio Tsoukalos’ hair stunned. The course taken with P E G A S U S T H O T Z is ambitious, but ultimately something to be proud of.