Northern Picture Library Postscript

With LTM’s mandate of reissuing all things connected to Sarah Records, it was only a matter of time before they got around to Northern Picture Library. It was the band that came after the Field Mice and before Trembling Blue Stars for Robert Wratten, and he also brought fellow Field Mice Annemari Davies and Mark Dobson along for the ride. Postscript collects three EPs released in 1994, adding some unreleased songs and a cover of "Something Good” from a Sound Of Music tribute album. The pick of the songs are those that are reminiscent of the Field Mice’s poppier moments instead of the meandering ambient soundscapes that were happening more frequently than before. Postscript is really more for completists than anyone else simply because about half the songs could hardly be described as Wratten’s best work. Unsurprisingly, the majority of those weaker songs were never released, with the remainder being b-sides of singles — Wratten might not have had the best quality control when it came to his prolific songwriting, but at least he had the sense to try to conceal them. Northern Picture Library’s legacy is best remembered with their album Alaska, a much more cohesive affair, but even this spotty collection has some rather good moments, although it feels like Wratten was simply treading water until his next great endeavour. (LTM)