Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Wow! I love it when my mining pays off. All that scouring of Bandcamp and Reverbnation has reaped dividends. I feel like I just found a five carat canary diamond. This is like listening to Badfinger, Cheap Trick, Alex Chilton and Big Star at their best. This is a bit poppy due to the great hooks and vocals. But, it is also edgy and experimental using instrumentation and noise not normally heard in pop songs. Also, the subject matter on Ink Block Fingerprint is a little darker than most pop music. But it is just as infectious as any pop songs I have ever heard. This music is heavy and thought provoking with staying power. Whereas most pop is here today, gone tomorrow.
In addition to the aforementioned musicians and bands, I also hear harmonizing similar to The Kinks and early Police. This is everything great about the old, and modernized by Patrick Storedahl to create a musical movement. Someday Lonely (Track 1) could have come right off of a Kinks or Police album and you would believe it. The song starts off with a rootsy and twangy guitar riff out of Wilco’s early playbook. Then the vocals and harmonies hit. It is like a bowl of hot soup on a cold day. It is that comforting. Even though the subject matter of Someday Lonely is about a relationship that is doomed to fail, it doesn’t matter. It is so well crafted that I could listen to this song 100 times in a row and not get bored. Only 90 listens to go.
The next track, Fiend, couldn’t be more different in style than its predecessor. This stong is still harmonic, but the subject matter and instrumentation make it a little darker. It is about addiction. Although it seems to be about a women, it is a metaphor for anything that we are obsessed with. Things that feel good at the time, but are really quite destructive:
I know and you know she’s just an impostor,
With eyes of a killer-diller, heart of a mobster,
She’s a broken down flat tire,
A road hazard vampire,
I know and you know it’s time she retired,
She’s a fiend.
So the “she” in this song could be anything that is the focus of addictive behavior. A very well written and insightful song.
Come (Kurdt) (Track 7) is another song that seems to be on the darker side. The instrumentation is quite thick and seems to have some ominous and haunting overtones. The song seems to be about Kurt Cobain, referencing his Crohn’s disease and also a Nirvana song title:
I’m feeling sick to my stomach
I got a hole in my heart
I’m all through pretending
You can come as you are
Although it is dark and haunting, it is also an amazing song.
It says that these songs are from 2004. I don’t know if this is a rerelease or not. But it doesn’t matter at all. Even if these songs are 13 years old, they sound fresh and vital and could have easily been written and released in the past six months. I know I keep pushing the limits on everyone’s music budget by saying, “This is a must have.” But this one really, really is!
Listen and buy Ink Block Fingerprint on Bandcamp