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Biscuits for Breakfast

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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Funk fun

Amazing album,genius I listen to it everyday,superb


Formed: 1995 in Bristol, Avon, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Fink is the recording moniker of Fin Greenall, who started out as a DJ/producer before progressing to making guitar-based folk/blues/indie music. Originally from Bristol, England, Greenall made his first steps in music by recording an album with Lee Jones (aka Hefner) that was eventually released under the name EVA by Kickin' Records in 1995. Billing himself as Fink, Greenall released a pair of EPs, 1997's Finkfunk and 1998's Front Side Blunt Side, on Ninja Tune's Ntone imprint before the arrival...
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Customer Ratings