Album Review

Finches, The – “On Golden Hill” – [Ulrike Records]

Thurston Hunger   2/15/2011   A Library, CD

For purveyors of spooky beauty, of that delicate mix of harm
and harmony, look and listen no further. Bay area three piece
with all parts singing. Pitch-perfect with a touch of pitch
black. A mild hint of twang, but more akin to the sound
underneath the grandstands at the prom in 1977? Or at the
other dive in Twin Peaks from a few years ago. New sounds but
timeless as a torch, and when the voices all rise together
and oooooh from note to note, it’s like a gust of wind at
night. Some keys on “I Stood” but generally it’s just guitar,
bass and drums…and those voices. Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
out front with a soothing voice and an unsteady heart, she
probably sounds fantastic even without the reverb. But don’t
discount the larynges of Gerry Saucedo and Cam Jones. Maybe
the haunted quality comes from the fact that Carolyn’s first
Finches died, and this project is back from the dead. With
a bullet…and a few waltzes. The first three songs alone
just floored me, as Darwin felt about his Finches, so I do
about this flock. Subtle variations, enjoy the unnatural

-Thurston Hunger

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