What does it sound like?:
Field Medic *is* Kevin Patrick Sullivan. He plays acoustic guitar, banjo, a couple of tin cans or a cheap drum machine and the obligatory gob iron. He’s a grotesque, a car crash of a busker. He is so Lo-Fi, he couldn’t get any lower.
He opens this album, his third, berating his audience. It’s a surprise he has one. His voice is mainly a painful whine. His songs shamble along. It’s difficult to imagine how anyone can like this music. Fade Into The Dawn is an album to be endured, rather than enjoyed.
As it progresses, we get to know him a bit better. Sullivan is exposed as a friendless, homeless alcoholic whose nomadic musician lifestyle brings him no joy. The Bottle Is My Lover, She’s Just A Friend reveals that there is a girl, one who clearly cares for him but cannot save him from himself. The mood is relentlessly downbeat and downtrodden, if not explicitly suicidal.
These ten songs are effectively a dialogue with himself, a long, dark night of the soul, a struggle with his damaging desire to drink, the bleak thoughts in his head and the black dog of depression. By the end, we cannot be certain he pulls through and sees that new dawn.
Yet. It’s hard to become emotionally involved or even sympathetic to Sullivan’s plight. He lacks the charm and wit of a Billy Bragg or the bizarre madness of a John Otway. The listening experience is that of a rubbernecker, inexplicably transfixed by someone else’s tragedy. Fade Into The Dawn is an album that will make you feel sordid and guilty.
What does it all *mean*?
Field Medic is ruthlessly honest and very few people can tolerate that. When music is this personal, you have to feel something for the person within. Don’t expect sales to be high.
Goes well with…
The comfort and safety of your own home.
Might suit people who like…
This sort of thing. You very definitely have to like this sort of thing.