Distributor/label URL: https://mattfinucane.bandcamp.com/
Buy Album: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0zYQZsVnJXHN7rJ1jdgzzW
Band Website: https://mattfinucane.net/
1. Evil Realm
2. Honest Song
3. Raw Material
4. Slaughter Ink
“It’s real. It’s sincere. It’s honest and he’s landed some decent tunes”, “a mix of challenge and seduction but most of all a fascination”, “really should be heard by many, many people” all comments made by Brighton-based musician Matt Finucane who is “happy to be an explorer and purveyor of the wonderfully unconventional and confrontational”. He takes his influences from art rock, Krautrock and “horrible electronic noise”, as he says: “All my heroes are safely dead, but it’s not just playing at being Music’s Bad Conscience – I can recall when music meant something, in these days of deadly sonic perfection and pretend grit.”
His live performances are solo acoustic, in a duo, or full electric as the occasion demands. It’s all rather DIY as he says himself; to the extent that I wasn’t even provided the usual links for his website or where to buy the record and had to Google them (and a YouTube clip) and copy and paste myself. I think you owe me a pint Mr Finucane…
His albums are “DIY-released and raw”. They include, “This Mucky Age” (2011), “Glow in the Dark” (2012) – followed by the singles “In The Evil Empire” & “Lilith” in 2014/15.
After a writing binge, the first of a batch of new material emerged as an EP – “Threaten Me with Your Love” – in 2017. Around the same time Matt put together a live band, gigged across the UK and kept working on songs, releasing two EPs in 2018, “Ugly Scene” & “Disquiet” before another full album earlier in 2019, called “Vanishing Island” and described as “another slice of psychotronic darkness covering addiction, unreality and what it’s like to be a thinking, feeling individual in an age of social media conformity”.
“Evil Realm” – Starts with a discordant “out of tune” style guitar intro, and it turns into the main riff. The track has a vintage punk feel with vocal style, bass and guitar all reminiscent of The Adverts or The Vibrators et al.
There also seems to be a guitar-feedback style (synth?) feature at some points. “I never did anything wrong” Tom protests…”I’m good for relief”. It chugs along nicely for the duration of its running time.
“Honest Song” – A slow intro, followed by chunky guitar and bass and a nice laid back drum beat. There is a vocal duet (overdubbed I assume?). It picks up with plenty of feedback on the final versus and at the end.
“Raw Material” – A slightly ponderous, melancholic guitar intro (it gives me pause for a moment, is he going all “prog-rock/doom metal” on me I wonder?). But then, the drums and bass come in. It’s all quite slow and laid back. The vocals are very clear. In fact of all the records I have reviewed to date this EP has by far the clearest vocals. You can hear most of the lyrics very clearly, though they mostly seem to have to do with fairly disjointed thoughts about the world. Although as mentioned earlier, addiction seems to be a persistent theme of his work.
“Slaughter Ink”- Something of a departure from the others, a very acoustic sounding number. “You’ve got safe conduct with booze and pills, your finger nails are gone, you reckon you could kill with the factors in your hair”. There is a quiet solo vocal with acoustic guitar and some subdued drum backing. A synthesizer chimes in at points.
It’s all very quiet and rather (but nicely) melancholic. It also has some nice harmonies.
All told, this EP is short and sweet, with good pared down, punchy, raw music. I listened to it several times before sitting down to write my review. Unfortunately I can’t say it’s great, but it’s certainly not bad. It’s certainly not easy listening either, but it is “in your face” without being loud and aggressive, and thoughtful without being pretentious or self indulgent.