Fine Times are to release their self-titled album on Light Organ records this month. Previously taking the band name of 16MM the duo comprising of vocalist Matthew Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell have taken a new name to go with their new signing. The band worked with Howard Redekopp, (New Pornographers, Mother, Mother, Tegan & Sara) on the release.
Moldowan admits he’s a big fan of the hook; “I have a short attention span so if a record doesn’t catch me in the first listen or two, I probably won’t put it back on the record player.” And it’s obvious; in Fine Times there’s a hook in every song.
“Strays” is a polished, synth tinged guitar track, Moldowan sings in the hook; “I was waiting, waiting for you to make your way home on your tip toes”. The name of the track actually touches on a rather strange feline theme for the album which is matched by two cat silhouettes on the album art. Other cat related tracks include; “Lion” and “Hungry Siamese”.
Aside from the feline titled tracks, “High Brow Low Times” is a punchy number whilst in “Television Tel Aviv” the vocals are more gravelly and there’s the use of a xylophone for varied percussion. “And It Happened At Midnight” is a dreamier number although it doesn’t go far enough to capture a dream-pop essence.
“Calico” is a jangly track before the bursts of synth melodies from the start in “Hungry Siamese”, Moldowan repeats; “say you feel it sometimes you don’t mean it”.
“Bright Lights” goes back to a slighter lighter, dreamier feel and like the song before the hook repeats throughout the song; “you’re the only with the bright lights”. The album finishes on an up-beat song which is one of the most fun and genuine of the collection. “Into the Mechanarium” has a party motto “don’t sleep don’t sleep don’t sleep at all” and ends the album on a high.
Despite the multiple use of hooks in Fine Times as a body of work it still fails to really grab attention. There are some good songs but you can’t help but feel some of them lack substance and are just too polished.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.
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