Monday, May 28, 2012

Finn Brothers 1: Finn

An album that nobody noticed when it came out was the first real debut of the Finn Brothers. Despite having worked together in Split Enz, it was a long time before they were allowed to be left on their own to create. (Their previous attempt to do so ended up mutating into the third Crowded House album, with mixed results.)
For Finn, the two of them worked together and only together. With the exception of the bass on one track, every noise we hear comes from them, be it guitar, keyboard or drum. It’s the drums that stand out, since neither of the Brothers is about to get tapped to fill in on the kit for any band needing same any time soon.
Finn is the sound of them in a room, bouncing ideas off one another. For the most part it sounds exactly like that, one guy playing and the other reacting. Neil, with the sweeter voice, takes most of the leads, while Tim is right behind in well-mixed harmony. The sound is a little too consistent, so many of the songs sound very similar production-wise, though “Only Talking Sense”, “Eyes Of The World”, and “Mood Swinging Man” are undeniably ca. The first real departure is “Last Day In June”, credited to Neil alone, based around a piano and not sounding too far away from early mournful Elton John. “Suffer Never”, which follows, sports a mean lead guitar line borrowed from Daniel Lanois. “Angels Heap” is exactly the kind of tunesmithing we’ve come to expect from these boys, and that lasts even through less comforting tracks like “Where Is My Soul”. Every now and then what sounds like island percussion sneaks in, making the album even more of an ode to New Zealand than Together Alone. The lilting “Paradise (Wherever You Are)” bleeds into “Kiss The Road Of Rarotonga”, which sounds like it was partially recorded at a small club, with bad drums to match.
Until its US release (under the title Finn Brothers) the album was only here available as a pricey import. Still, it’s nice and quirky enough to please fans of Crowded House, and put a few pennies in the pockets of brother Tim, who hadn’t seen anything approaching his little brother’s success.

Finn Finn (1995)—3

1 comment:

  1. Well, Tim Finn not only sang in the group ALT around the same time as this one came out, but was also their drummer. Their album "Altitude" is well worth seeking out.