UK composer and musician Matt FINUCANE have been an active recording and performing musician for close to a decade, with a good handful of EPs and singles as well as two albums to his name so far. 2018 have been a productive year for him as a recording artist, releasing one EP back in May of this year, and this second EP, “Disquiet”, which is set for release in the middle of October 2018 through the label Crude Records. A label I presume is the artist’s own label, as I have been unable to find any information about it from online sources.
Generally speaking there are many interesting details of note for this EP. Finucane appears to hone in on the late 60’s and early 70’s varieties of psychedelic rock straight away, and stays put in these landscapes throughout. The vocals are dominant, and the acoustic guitar is the shining star in the instrument department. Various arrays of sounds and effects provides distinct psychedelic atmospheric coating, at times supplemented with clear cut psychedelic laced guitar solo runs and fuzzy, retro-oriented guitar riffs of the same disposition. There are a few buts to throw in at this point however.
Finucane’s vocals is quite clearly a but here. He has a fine voice in general, with something of a David Bowie touch to them, but he uses it in what I think is best described as an unconventional manner. Like someone not schooled and trained in the art of singing, or as someone with a strong desire to shy away from a conventional mode of delivering vocals. I’m not sure which of these that may be most correct. That Lou Reed and Velvet Underground are stated influences being factoids that may be relevant in this specific context.
A second but is the mix, production and execution. This is a strictly lo-fi affair, focusing in on old school DIY traits and idioms, which results in material that is rather jangly. The mix is also rather unbalanced, with the drums in particular suffering from this. If this is planned or accidental I can’t really tell though, as what I do hear from that part of the rhythm section lacks the quality I desire when I listen to music. I do not mind lo-fi affairs, but for my taste in music this production comes across as too much of a good thing in that department, especially when there are weaknesses present that could have been ironed out with next to no cost equipment. Which to me at least indicates that this entire aspect of the production has been planned to appear this way. A planned detour into the sounds and ethics of the DIY artists of the Woodstock generation.
For my sake, my impression is that this is an EP with a limited and finite reach, mostly due to the recording, mix and execution of the album. Jangly, lo-fi psychedelic rock made with a similar or possibly the very same approach as the DIY psychedelic rock enthusiasts a couple of generations ago is what I’m left with as a key impression here. An EP worth checking if this kind of material strikes your fancy, especially if you tend to enjoy music of this kind described as raw and honest. But for me, this production was a bit too much on the primitive side of things.
My rating: 40/100
1. Ulterior Motives
2. Happy Chains
3. People Move On
4. Always A Shadow
5. Dead Men Sing Us To Our Rest