Biscuits for Breakfast

Biscuits for Breakfast

by Fink
     
 

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One has to give the NinjaTune label credit for taking a chance on Biscuits for Breakfast. When we last listened in on Finian Greenhall (aka Fink), he was making ambient trip-hop beats (2000s Fresh Produce), and a long six years later he's become a full-blown, guitar picking singer/songwriter. No, we're not speaking of the whiskey-rotted, cowboy-hatted,…  See more details below

Overview

One has to give the NinjaTune label credit for taking a chance on Biscuits for Breakfast. When we last listened in on Finian Greenhall (aka Fink), he was making ambient trip-hop beats (2000s Fresh Produce), and a long six years later he's become a full-blown, guitar picking singer/songwriter. No, we're not speaking of the whiskey-rotted, cowboy-hatted, delusional Americana of a Townes Van Zandt wannabe, nor the wasted Cocaine California decadence of the Jackson Browne-Eagles brood, nor the weepy, terminally depressed Nick Drake-wish-upon-a-Pink Moon-songstrelsy either. Instead, Fink's gone his own way. That's not to say the sounds of his heroes aren't in here: one can hear John Martyn in his noirish approach to jazzy acoustic blues, the bottleneck influence of Peter Green (post-Fleetwood Mac y'all) and even the fingerpicking toughness of Davy Graham. There is a wonderfully intimate smokiness in Fink's approach to his songs. It's intimate, but utterly lacking in sentimentalism,. Check the opener "Pretty Little Thing," on which he plays the whole menagerie: bass, guitar (nylon strings, no less), and B-3. The lyrics in this cut are not much to be sure, but as a first track Fink's looking to usher in the set's atmosphere, and as such it works beautifully. Dave Matthews would kill to have written a tune like this one for his "solo" album Some Devil. The real surprise is when his co-writers -- bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer Tim Thornton -- and bandmates jump in on "Pills in My Pocket." The steel-string acoustic comes out, as does the bottleneck slide, a shuffling rhythm ushers in his streetlife tale matter-of-factly. Vocalist Tina Grace (Nitin Sawhney, Cirque du Soleil) sings lead on the swampy, spooky love song "Hush Now," as Fink plays slide, and sings backup and creates a series of shuffling little loops that enter the picture. The title track has a few sparse FX on it, but the tone is a moaning little streetwise blues and the main instrument is his voice. It's expressive and emotive even as it slips and shimmers just above the skeletal mix. There is no overkill here. As much as this album uses the blues, it's hardly a roots blues album; it's thoroughly urban in imagery, utterance, sophistication, steamy eroticism, and rhythm (albeit in a mostly organic, post-2 A.M. way). At just over 36 minutes, its length is perfect. Biscuits for Breakfast is a surprise considering what the cat did before, but let's hope he doesn't move from this phase of his musical vocation just yet; we need another recording to follow this one before another six years passes.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/31/2006
Label:
Ninja Tune
UPC:
5021392411187
catalogNumber:
104
Rank:
116156

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