Going on a Trip at Rough Trade NYC

By Vidisha Bansal, Contributing Writer

Field Trip returned to their hometown of New York City to play a special night at Brooklyn’s world-acclaimed combination record-store-and-venue Rough Trade NYC. Taking Rough Trade’s stage is a milestone for any band, and particularly notable for the quickly-rising but still young group.

The boys performed at Brooklyn’s Gateway back in September, and the vast improvement and the addition of tracks from their latest album, “horror vacui,” made all the difference in their sets. (Both the band and the album are made up of NYU students, an impressive feat for a label that has already booked Field Trip to play SXSW despite the fact that they have yet to even complete their undergraduate degrees.)

Field Trip doesn’t really employ conventional compositions in their writing, which is one thing that makes their music so interesting. They don’t even have a conventional stage performance – a layout where the drummer is in the middle of the stage and the band stand in a row. Their mixed-up placement gave the show a refreshing vibe, as it really showed how vital each member is to the band.

One of the many things setting them apart from others is the fact that the drummer also is the lead vocalist. There’s a reason that most bands avoid this lineup, and it has much more to do with the level of dexterity required to pull it off than it does the trouble of figuring out how to arrange microphones. Field Trip’s man of the hour, Noah Davies is a student in the Clive Davis Recorded Music Tisch program. He is also the man behind the founding of the band, and it was fascinating to see how far he’s taken the band from its early days three years ago.

The group’s sound leans generally towards psychedelic rock, with obvious 60s and 70s hard-rock influences shining through. When the vocals come in, however, their style turns into more contemporary rock. This fusion of styles is essential to the band’s unique soundscape.

The stand-out song of the night was “2 NY,” a song off of “horror vacui.” The group’s affinity for longer instrumental breaks and fewer vocals really shone through for this track, letting the guitar in particular have time to create its own beauty within the set.

The band ended with “Still,” the final song off “horror vacui.” The performance was really outstanding on this one — Davies’ drumming really reached its height.

Email Vidisha Bansal at music@nyunews.com.

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