An Unexpected Groovy Treatby Fini Tribe
While early Finitribe recordings like 1984's Curling and Stretching EP were characterized by an industrial/indie-rock sound, their single "Detestimony" (1986) found the band moving more toward the dancefloor. Like their Scottish peers the Shamen, Finitribe began to tap into the burgeoning culture of acid house and, having slimmed down to a trio, released 1989's sample- and beat-laden Grossing 10K. Although An Unexpected Groovy Treat continued in the same synth-centered, indie-dance vein, it was more consistent and slightly more playful than its predecessor. Finitribe's strong suit here is an ability to blend electronic beats and a more traditional melodic pop sensibility to produce catchy -- but far from mindless -- songs. This knack is documented by the three singles collected on this release. The Andrew Weatherall remix of "101" is infectiously bouncy and "Ace-Love-Deuce" lends credence to suggestions that the band was an alternative Pet Shop Boys. The standout track, however, is the pulsing "Forevergreen," which resurrects some of the social critique of the previous album, taking on the flourishing info-tech climate of the period, albeit with some ambivalence. Unfortunately, much of An Unexpected Groovy Treat fails to travel beyond the context of its genesis and its early-'90s sound occasionally seems quaint. Contributing to the dated feel is the vast array of vocal samples from Warner Brothers cartoons, The Shining, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Telly Savalas as Blofeld asking: "Do you remember when you first came here how you hated chickens?"). "Come and Get It" uses samples to particularly humorous effect, setting up a surreal juxtaposition of satanic rantings from The Name of the Rose and the voice of Foghorn Leghorn. Whereas An Unexpected Groovy Treat was very much of its time, Finitribe developed a more enduring sound for the eclectic 1995 follow-up, Sheigra.
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