Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Fingermouse & Rubberneck, a moniker that's been undertaken by Tom Few and Simon Murfitt for a new EP entitled ‘Samsquantch.’ If this entry to the site sounds immediately peculiar, well, that’s because it is. This duo has crafted a record that’s wholly authentic and unique, albeit more than a bit bizarre. ‘Samsquantch’ is indeed an EP worth having in your indie music collection. Let’s dig into why that is.
Fingermouse & Rubberneck comes across right away as a very nonchalant endeavor. Their press materials state that their new EP is essentially a jam session - they weren’t trying to conform to a genre or styling. They also self-produced the effort and apparently recorded it at “an undisclosed studio near some train tracks.” When I get music like this across my desk, it’s typically amateur hour with poorly mixed final masters and awful quality. Fingermouse & Rubberneck, however, are actually quite tactful in their execution.
The opening track of the EP is ‘The Mouse,’ a tune you’ll hear thrice on the record since the EP closes with an acoustic and ‘full’ version of the song. The radio edit, properly cut at under three and a half minutes, is eclectic and jam-packed with personality. The crunchy soundscape is absolutely lovable both musically and lyrically. It’s wry and witty, exuding some of the better lyrics I’ve heard in the last month or two in the indie scene.
‘Nothing I Can Do’ is an interesting effort, perhaps one that even eclipses its predecessor. It has an intriguing pop sensibility to it. If I was to draw a parallel, I’d argue that ‘Nothing I Can Do’ sounds like a track off the cutting room floor of Paul McCartney’s ‘McCartney II.’ It’s in a similar vein to perhaps ‘Temporary Secretary’ or ‘Coming Up.’ That, of course, is a high compliment.
‘Out In The Heat’ brings in searing slide guitar and harmonica sections for an especially bluesy indie rock piece. Tom Few is on both lead and rhythm guitar and vocals, and Simon Murfitt is on bass, harmonica, and vocals. The latter also seemed to experiment with some digital stylings in the studio. The funky ‘What You Want’ then closes the EP out with an eccentric landscape of wah-wah and soloing.
As an acoustic effort, ‘The Mouse’ is truly successful. It’s worth checking out if you dig its electric counterpart. The ‘full’ version of the track is only a few seconds longer, so it’s not really worth taking much heed of versus the radio cut.
Check this EP out when it drops - it’s absolutely fantastic.