Hard Science the latest single from UK songwriter Matt Finucane left a mixed emotion to its intriguing and unpredictable sounds. The song hit the spot at times but also missed easily in others moments to spawn an uncertainty towards his wrong footing invention. August 13th sees the release of his new album Glow In The Dark via Light Crude and is a collection of songs which offer a broader understanding of the man and his intent. It does really not solve the riddle of how one feels about his music but it certainly makes it fun trying to find out.
From Brighton, Finucane began on his solo quest in 2008 after fronting art rock band Empty Vessels. His limited edition Episodes EP of the same year drew some attention but he stepped back to write more songs. Last year saw the singles Wet Dream Disaster and Hands Up released, the latter earning some good radio play. Both marked the way for debut album This Mucky Age which came out in July that year and again to strong responses. A re-issue of Episodes began 2012 with Hard Science which with its release in July heralded the imminent arrival of Glow In The Dark. Though our first introduction to the man, within a few tracks of the album it is clear Finucane is one who rips up the supposed rules into little shreds and discovers his own path. There is always something impressive about a musician prepared to create his own world of sound and disregard what came before and the opinions of others. The album is a perfect reflection and one can only admire its rugged use of discordance for a blistered adventure. Sometimes it did not work to the preference of these ears but to the ideas and emerging intention one can only nod in approval.
Finucane is from the same stock and well of musical destruction as Mark E. Smith, an explorer and purveyor of the wonderfully unconventional and confrontational. You can add elements of Lou Reed and Iggy Pop especially vocally to the man but it is that breath which took The Fall to such heights which marks the sounds and invention of Finucane.
The album opens with the acoustic enticement of Into It. The track is simply guitar and voice stirring up the air with a gentle coaxing of the senses whilst an electric whisper plays in the background like a searchlight of inciteful invention. Finucane has a voice which takes a little while to warm to and at times is not easy to get a handle on though as always it is a matter of personal taste and connection. As the song plays there emerges a shuffling sound as if the body of familiarity and expectation is being dragged to the nearest dumpster to inspire great delight even if the thoughts drawn were not as intended.
Hard Science works better within the context of the album or it is just that it has worn the defences down through multiple plays. The sizzling electrified surface sound which roughs up the ear is a great counter to the strong melodic play and eager hook which becomes quite infectious over time. Imagine Thomas Dolby creating sound with 1,000 volts running through his veins and you can imagine Hard Science.
The likes of Face Of Stone with its assembly of disconnected but perfectly aligned sounds, Impermanence and its disruptive garage rock barracking, and the acoustically shimmering In The Market Place, all leave one in various degrees of pleasure. Each keeps one attentive to their presentation though trigger many questions alongside the enjoyment they bring, though thought provoking music is never ever a flaw in our book.
The highlight of the album comes with a consecutive trio of songs. The first Larkin’ hypnotises with a nonstop spotting of the senses through pulsating beats and irresistible melodic guitar strikes. Easily the best song on the release it jabs persistently whilst giving a caustic vocal rub and that alone is mesmeric but with the distillery of thrilling concussive unique sounds and teasing hooks it elevates itself to greatness. The other two tracks have their own individual and equally compulsive worlds. Great Beginnings pulsates with a swing groove which no one can say no to within its stirring discordance whilst Doom Vibes is a sinister caress with less than healthy intentions which leaves one rattled but needing to feel its shadows again.
The album is maybe a rocky journey with the likes of Love Unknown, Alter Ego Hi-Way, and Yr Own Poison not hitting same personal target of the hungrily received imaginative sounds of the tracks previously mentioned. There is nothing truly wrong with them but just do not find a welcoming home but this is a release for individuals, what works for one will not always for another. Glow In The Dark is a release which deserves investigation, to ignore it would be a mistake. Honesty dictates that we declare the album was certainly enjoyable but by how much is still in debate with a decision not expected until further meet ups.
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