Fingerprint Records Sampler – Review

Fingerprint Records Sampler

by Scott Hefflon

Just for simplicity’s sake, try the Fingerprint Records Sampler. Three songs by each of the four bands on the roster. It shows the diverse tastes of the label, as well as the bands themselves.

Ramona Silver starts with pleasant, guitar-heavy pop, layered with Ramona’s sweet (but not sugary) voice. The chord changes keep the verses and choruses equally interesting, and the melodies fluctuate between gusts of vocal power and soft-spoken tenderness. Girl-fronted indie rock has acquired so many clichés in recent times, I’m glad to hear a rock band with a female singer that doesn’t cash in on either the sex kitten or tough bitch schtick.

Bob., while not my specialty, is really good. The thanks/debts column included Duke Ellington, Steely Dan, and Robert Frost. With that as a foothold, I dug the jazzy keyboards and sexy trumpets. I’m a fan of their ripping guitar scales, but that’s just my bias. The funky, upbeat tunes are appealing, but the smooth sounds are pretty nice, too.

Hezze sounded like classic rock at first, but “Big Hands” put it in perspective for me and won me over entirely. Sounding kinda Beatles/Jellyfish with their fun giddiness, the Janes Addiction-plays-all-your-favorite-Partridge-Family-hits style was all I needed to hear. To top it off, they cover ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” on their full-length. I need say no more.

Iain was so laid back, I had trouble grasping it. The beefy bass lines are choice cuts, and the rich vocals are relaxing and pleasant, but the songs themselves are so low-key there’s not much more I can say. Good music to read a book to, maybe?