Album Review: Fink – Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet

By on Tuesday, 6th November 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

The fabulous three-piece Fink have released a live album entitled ‘Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet’. Referencing a life changing moment from their song ‘Wheels’, this collection ably captures the undulating, moving, live Fink experience. Recorded at various magnificent venues like Amsterdam’s Paradiso and London’s Union Chapel, the songs span Fink’s career. With thirteen tracks, this album is packed with the best Fink has to offer. Since it is from the current tour, half of the tunes are from the most recent album ‘Perfect Darkness’, but starting off with ‘Biscuits’ from the first album, Fin Greenall, Tim Thornton and Guy Whittaker let you know they have no intention of ignoring their roots.

Having just seen Fink play live, I can attest to the authenticity of the album. Greenall and company can take these works and elevate them so that they soar without the production that surely goes into a studio effort. An absolute revelation occurred for me during ‘Sort of Revolution’. There have been times before when seeing a truly inspired live performance caused perfect clarity regarding a certain musical performance style; for example, purposely creating feedback or live looping. It was just such clarity that was afforded me on this track. But this time it was ‘playing the pedals’. The end of this track is a genius tour de force of pedal manipulation that makes it all make sense.

There are a few times when I think the original recordings shine a bit brighter than the live versions. Perhaps because it is my #1 favorite Fink song, ‘Perfect Darkness’, is a song that hits much deeper in the studio version for me. I can’t quite reconcile the deep, oozing sensuality of the song with the rather spare treatment it gets live. But the clarity in songs like ‘This is the Thing’ and ‘Warm Shadow’ shine through live in magnificent form.

However, the fundamental feelings I have about Fink’s music still hold true. The music, lead singer Greenall’s voice, and the lyrics can best be described as sex, whiskey and smoke – but slow, meaningful sex, single malt, Islay whiskey and deep, flavourful pipe smoke. This is not your average drunken encounter with a fag hanging from your lips. If you have not had the pleasure of delving into this rich, weighty music, please take a listen to this live album. It very well may inspire you to take a look at their other stuff. Because quite frankly, Barry White will have no place in your life after you listen to Fink.

8/10

‘Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet’, the new live album from Fink, is available now on Ninja Tune.

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