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GIANTfingers | PetRock
GIANTfingers were born not out of a 'Caps Lock' button accident, but from the band members' collaboration on the incidental music for a TV biography of Andy Warhol. So there's a Velvets tinge here, to be sure, with cellist Matt Goeke evoking John Cale's viola occasionally. But band leader/song writer Dusty Wright has a dark country voice very redolent of Howe Gelb and Joey Burns, so you might think more of Giant Sand or Calexico, especially with the heavy cello vibe. There's a percussionist too, but she doesn't get much to do, as percussion is suggestive of tempos on the unslow side, and unslow is what this mostly isn't. With track five, Tempest, a peak of all this mid-tempo gorgeousness is reached, with weeping cello and female background vocals. The next track is the odd Masquerade, on which the tempo is upped a little, and which sounds like a cross between Steeleye Span and The Doors. Weird, but it grows. Unusually Eno's Baby's on Fire gets the treatment too, and comes up shining. Dusty Wright's been in a lot of bands you won't have heard of, trust me, but I will, for your entertainment, mention his proto-grunge band Bastards of Execution, and that he contributed to a Led Zeppelin tribute compilation called 'The Song Retains the Name.' But back to the CD, where we're now on track eight, Harder to Understand (with lyrics based on a poem by Hungarian poet Janos Gat!) and we have some percussion at last, and a bit of a loose David Byrne vibe. The disc ends with a long Calexico-ish jammy instrumental, like a superior something off one of their tour CDs. But I don't want to blizzard you with these comparisons, this disc hangs together well on the songs and the voice and the dark slow tone and the twang. If you go for unusual flavours go for this.

Jeff Cotton
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002

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