The Italian rock and metal scene is ripe with striking emerging talent right now and proven by their new album, one of the most exciting of the impressive bunch of artists is Florence bred Finister. Debut full-length Suburbs of Mind is a ten track adventure of sound and imagination sculpted upon a progressive/psychedelic rock canvas and coloured with an array of diverse rock essences. It is an instantly captivating proposition with a collection of striking songs which just get more compelling and enjoyable with every listen. The band’s sound can be described as something like Muse meets The Horrors but there is plenty more to its body in flavour and originality which perpetually adds to the rich introduction of the band through their thoroughly impressive album.
Formed in 2009, Finister made a potent impression locally and within the Italian underground scene with a couple of EPs but it was their third release, the Nothing Is Real EP that they ignited stronger attention. It showed a new thrust and exploration in their sound, an evolving imagination and adventure with broader flavouring and imagination. It is a direction pushed into even greater psychedelic spiced landscapes through the progressively honed creative offering within Suburbs of Mind. Released via Red Cats Records, the album is a fascinating and immediate temptation for ears and thoughts from a band still young in years. Such its maturity in songwriting and sound though, and the impressive craft shaping it, it is impossible not to anticipate a big future for and from the band ahead.
The album opens with a wistful flame of sax against a sturdier stroking of guitar, both creating a melodic and sombre coaxing which easily enthrals ears before emerging jab of beats, a pungent dark bassline, and equally melancholic vocals. Within a few chords and seconds The Morning Star has the imagination lit, especially as it slowly expands and almost taunts the listener with its minimalistic but potent sonic tempting. The guitar and voice of Elia Rinaldi is soon holding reign over the evocative sounds which at times seem to be prowling his vocal delivery. It is a scene continually shifting and evolving though, the keys of Orlando Cialli, with his sax skills, as well as the rhythms of drummer Lorenzo Burgio providing an unpredictable and fluid stroll of adventure.
It is a strong start to the album, those Muse spices already adding enjoyable hues to the offering, but things are soon taken up a notch with the following Bite the Snake. Also the band’s new single, the track is a predatory bait of creatively agitated beats and sonic causticity aligned to a great grizzly bassline from Leonardo Brambilla. There is a primal essence to the encounter though one tempered by the mellower tones of Rinaldi and a melody rich caress of keys. Alternative rock, with an extra snarl of punk, the track lights ears and emotions instantly, but subsequently surpasses its early glories with an exotic dance of keys and sultry melodic enterprise which erupts from its contagious presence.
The Way (I Used to Know) breezes in on a melodic haze next; skittish rhythms providing a smiling additive to the opening and smouldering croon of the song. Guitars and sax soon add to the sultriness of atmosphere and sound, embracing the senses whilst Rinaldi again shows endearing expression and potency in his voice and delivery. Addictive drama emerges to coat the track as it evolves; the sax of Cialli an especially inflammatory essence in the inventive theatre of the increasingly bewitching track.
Already three songs in and the diversity of sound and imagination in the album is striking and continued in the more volatile yet addictively mesmeric A Decadent Story. Feeling like it is going to explode in a muscular rage at any moment, the song instead seduces and sways with harmonic and melodic ingenuity as its progressive heart explores an almost chivalric psych fuelled canter. In brief glimpses a sense of Hawkwind makes a suggestive spice in the infectious proposition whilst its passage of pure peace midway is the appetiser to a rich Muse like ascent of voice and sound which leads to a gripping climatic finale.
Both the fiery and dramatic progressive croon of My Howl and the spellbinding Levity grip ears and attention next, the first from an understated but alluring start building to another tempestuous and enthralling confrontation with the cello of guest Lea Galasso a potent tinge to the exploration. Its successor is a glorious flight of intrigue and addictive drama. Opening with a scuzzy climate of guitar and keys it soon creates a web of sinister yet rigorously tempting hooks and melodies. They are noir lit, like moments of cinematic espionage within enticing sonic smog and accentuated by again expressive vocals and technical enterprise. The track is sheer temptation, creative intrigue for ears and imagination to immerse in and the latter to sculpt its own theatre for alongside the lyrical reflection of the song.
One of the major pinnacles of the release, it is contrasted in tone by the balladry of Oceans of Thrills but matched in appeal. The song is an engrossing melancholic yet warm embrace with shadows brought by the cello of Galasso and the bass of Brambilla entwined by the melodic poetry of Davide Dalpiaz’s violin courted by the keys and sax of Cialli. As all the tracks there is much more going on than first recognised, this song alone a maze of twists and imagination which increasingly enthrals and impresses over time.
Another exotic tempting is unveiled with The Key, the song a mix of psych pop and alternative endeavour kissed by a blues whisper and jazz bred ambience, though again that is only part of the colouring boldly seducing ears and emotions. The song is another hypnotic tantalising, maybe not as immediately persuasive as previous tracks but ultimately enslaving emotions and appetite for another big success.
Suburbs of Mind is brought to a close by firstly the classically charmed and melodically tempting Here the Sun, the keys of Cialli a play all on their own but a seamless fit in the accompanying drama of guitars and vocals. This again is a slower burner in thoughts but also with a seriously merciless persuasion before final song Everything Goes Back shimmers with psychedelic radiance and smoky atmospheres to bring the album to a turbulently enchanting close. With a flurry of dramatic and towards its end explosive textures, it is one final lingering ride into the full spectacle of the band’s sound and invention.
Suburbs of Mind is one of those unexpected treats and delights which startle from out of the blue, its creators announcing their presence on the largest stage in impressive style. As mentioned Finister is young in age but with a mature presence and craft which belies that. You can only feel there is more to come from and be discovered within themselves though, an excitement and anticipation for which is already ripening nicely here.
Suburbs of Mind is available from March 16th via Red Cat Records on CD and digitally @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Suburbs-Mind-Finister/dp/B00UDB9WPK
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