single IN THE EVIL EMPIRE, 2014 – 15:
Audiogene …Ouch! My first critical slating in a while. Well-written, though (even made me laugh)…
The Séance, Radio Reverb 97.2FM, 22 Nov ’14 – “exquisite oddball pop… an insistent little earworm”
Monolith Cocktail “wise and blissful melancholy… this attentive anthem… moves elegantly through its time changes and harks at the resigned beauty of David Sylvian and Jonathan Richman as Rome burns.”
reviews of album GLOW IN THE DARK & single, 2012:
Album “really should be heard by many many people”, says Louder Than War.
GLOW IN THE DARK reviewed by withguitars.com – “carefully orchestrated to pull you along and deeper into Matt Finucane’s beautifully sinister world view”
BRIGHTON SOURCE on Glow in The Dark: “strongly produced and impressively single minded”
Unpeeled says – “There is very little new that’s new under the sun, but once in a blue one, you come across something of genuine interest. The opener, ”Into It” is a beautifully coherent mix of innocently vampiric and hideously young Bowie intoning calmly over a slow shuffled acoustic, but the electro guitar sharks circling around are pure Chris Isaak. You see? With one mighty slouch, the man has straddled the atlantic. What’s next, come on… ”Hard Science” shoving Gay Dad through Suede and the sleaze-o-meter is spitting sparks and by the time we get to ”Face Of Stone” two things are very clear. One is that the vocals are always going to make lazy people point and say ”Oh, look, David Bowie” and the other is Matt Finucane is making better records at this stage of his game, so it’s appropriate that ”Alter Ego Hi-Way” is probably the best track here and that it drags lazy electro doodling around an acoustic campfire for a slow kicking. IS IT ANY GOOD? Oh yes.”
Glow in the Dark is Whiteboard Project‘s “wildcard of the week” – “will infuriate some and delight others […] Highly recommended” (scroll down their 12th August Albums Roundup and see).
Access All Areas - “pretty work on drums and beats, a lovely guitar, touching voice and a bunch of disturbing sounds here and there. Next Great Beginnings is an irresistible retro groovy upbeat, Doom Vibes is the fearing, poignant and mesmerising voice of the afterworld. Visionary, original, one of my favorite track of the album.”
GLOW IN THE DARK reviewed by drunkenwerewolf.com – an “involving, even body of work.”
A singles review – Hard Science is “a delight”, says R*E*P*E*A*T zine, here (3rd item down) – “always great to hear an artist doing things their way”…
…Amusingly followed by a less-impressed album review from the same zine, different writer. “Oh, who cares? Yawn.”
“an explorer and purveyor of the wonderfully unconventional and confrontational” says Ringmaster Reviews…
Some news of album & tour from Beat Review
“He’s a punk poet prepared to push the boat out”: Is This Music? reviews HARD SCIENCE
2 pieces – 1 by, not about me – in Monthly Planet #23 (read the whole magazine to find em, it’s great)
Another good review of This Mucky Age by Indie Dad, in [sic] Magazine
Peter Kemp’s in-depth and interestingly diverse blog looks at This Mucky Age:
Nightshift (a veritable Oxford institution) reviews Hands Up – Dec 2011 issue pdf
BN1 Magazine, Album Reviews, Aug ’11:
Album: ‘This Mucky Age’ Out Now
As someone old enough to remember pre Hunky Dory David Bowie, I find myself welcoming the musical style of Matt Finucane like an old friend. This is a world I kind of know – or feel familiar with at least – even though I confess that lyrically, I have no idea what Mr Finucane is rabbitting on about. Not that it matters overmuch, Matt seems able to paint a picture, tell a story and connect through mere suggestion. and musical atmosphere. This man is clearly a devil may care rebel. Here is a man in a world of his own. And quite a nice place it is too. A cult world of space rock, some strange mutant form of angry philosophy and pleasingly thin fuzzy guitar sounds. The b-side ‘180 degree reaction’ is strangely satisfying, as indeed is the more musically direct ‘Hands Up’. All very mysterious it may be, but I like it. In fact I like it a lot. Mr Finucane you are a musical outcast, a pirate and a bit of a rascal and these are, in my book at least, all very good things indeed. Music needs you; keep the faith and more power to your tortured brow! (Mark Ede) http://www.bn1magazine.co.uk/
Brighton Source, The Critic, Feb ’11:
SINGLE: MATT FINUCANE •
Wet Dream Disaster (Light Crude)
With his eerily unromantic refrain of “show us yer sex face” and the unfortunate titular nocturnal teenage trauma, it’s perhaps unwise to expect much bedroom finesse from Mr Finucane. The song is billed as an edgy confessional; we couldn’t really piece together too much of the narrative to that end, but it’s presented with a nice laid-back guitar groove that you’ll find tricky to prise yourself away from. Rather like Matt’s sheets, in fact. (Nick Coquet)
Interviewed by Ollie Cornish of Music-News.com (Jan 2009):
3 Reviews: live & ‘Episodes’ EP
“…First up was Matt Finucane, former frontman of cult indie band Empty Vessels who, of our two acts, might have initially seemed to fit the traditional singer-songwriter mould. But that is exactly what he is challenging with his solo material, pushing that idea of one-man and his guitar to its limits. With a noticeable Lou Reed influence, his songs move between gentle laments to attacks on his guitar that teeter on a knife-edge, with song structures more akin of rock, or even jazz, and lyrics that cover everything from fairytales to literary icons. Matt pulls all this of with a suave cool and a voice that echos Jeff Buckley and Nick Cave. His debut EP, ‘Episodes’, is out now on Light Crude Records.”
www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/daily/index.html (CMU Social, 229 Great Portland St, 11 Nov 2008)
In a world choc a block with male singer songwriters Matt Finucane enters. He sits down and starts to play and you realise very suddenly that this guy is not what you assumed he would be (a shiny toothless bore). His music speaks in a way that few other modern male singer songwriters could (read would) ever emulate.
Thar be no pop here. No, in its place are fascinating little musical insights into the loves and thoughts of a young man with a taste for all things peculiar. You wont find any awful love songs on Episodes instead you songs about Kafka, phantom parties and Black Membranes fill your ears. Each composition is inspired and unsettling. His refusal to embrace standard conventions on song writing will have you scratching your head at points but give him a few listens and he’ll be in your head for months.
When you hear Matt Finucane inevitably you think of Lou Reed. They both share a sense of the absurd and ability to relate a good story through music. Matt’s fantastic 11 minute short story about a little walk with dire consequences is the most innovative thing that’s passed my ears in a while. The fact that it has a soundtrack of feedback and seemingly random bursts of strumming only serves to heighten the sense of trepidation you have as to the conclusion of the story.
If you waste your money on every X- Factor release and don’t see the point of music if it doesn’t go verse chorus verse, you really aren’t going to understand ole Matty boy. If however you can open your mind to new things and different takes on song writing then please, immerse yourself. You won’t be disappointed…
4/5 stars – Ollie Cornish, www.music-news.com (Jan ’09)
Matt Finucane – Episodes EP
With a label photo making Matt look like the Third Man it’s obvious his work will inhabit the shadows. Opener Kafka Song offers a monograph of the author, and the choice of the story teller whose characters exist in dark corners is fitting. The character is well served by the delivery, Brechtian swing, fitting for smoky cellar bars ripe for secret police raids. Before the door is kicked in, though, Matt will croon over his acoustic guitar in honour of the writer that launched a million great coats. In fact it’s easy to imagine Matt staying in the cellar, bottle of red wine uncorked, entertaining the bookish music fans with bleak vingettes. What Comes Next is almost Beat poet free form, it bleeds into No Sexwar Please which is more sturdy – like Edwin Collins . Black Membrane is the best manifestation of the shadows, still something of Edwin but with a more unsettling feedback drone covering everything like the membrane of paranoid depression. A drum beat at the ends promises a cathartic explosion that doesn’t appear. Matt does however offer at least musical relief on Phantom Party, a lighter croon, though perhaps it’s like the relief experienced by characters in those portmanteau horror films. The dream they recount in which they die horribly was – phew – just a dream. Until, as the last characters story plays out, it transpires of them (all of us in the cellar) are dead anyway.
www.myspace.com/indiedad (Parental Advisory blog 17:08)
2 EP reviews
After what seems like a lifetime of skulking around the dustbins of fame in the UK’s capital city reluctant troubadour Matt Finucane, former front man of Cult London act Empty Vessels, released his debut solo ep last week.
Wandering far from the usual singer songwriter tales of lost love and heartbreak Matt’s themes range from an imaginative theme song for a rock opera about Franz Kafka fighting a flesh eating space monster for a never to be staged glove puppet theatre (‘Kafka Song’) to a nearly true tale of a nightmarish experience in an unamed European country (‘The Path Ends Suddenly’).
With this debut EP Matt mashes up the NYC cool of Lou Reed and the cockney creativity of pre Ziggy Bowie to create a dark, melancholic stew that will win him a cadre of well dressed, black clad admirers but may not help him pay off his mortgage.
Matt Finucane – Kafka Song
Franz Kafka himself could understand the plight of an unfortunate music review stuck in a never-ending cycle of unimaginative singles. Thankfully, Matt Finucane offers salvation. Or, at least, a jab in the ear. He mucks about with literary references and an acoustic guitar, yes, but there’s more to it. The title track charts the author’s struggles with a flesh-eating space-monster. As Finucane puts it, he’s “no Chris Fucking Martin”.
‘Episodes’ EP – first coverage
This is at industry organ www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/daily for Oct 1st 2008:
I’m sandwiched between Coldplay and The Hold Steady – now there’s a groin-freezing (but nicely unlikely) image…
MATT FINUCANE ANNOUNCES DEBUT SOLO EP
A man who will be coming to a CMU Social near you very soon, Matt Finucane, has announced that he will release his debut solo EP, ‘Episodes’, on 20 Oct via Light Crude. It will be preceded by a free download single featuring two tracks from the EP, ‘Kafka Song’ and ‘What Comes Next’.
Formerly the frontman of cult indie band Empty Vessels, Matt says he’s trying to see how far he can “push the idea of one man and his guitar” with his solo work – creating his EP with just with a guitar, rudimentary electronic effects, reverb, distortion, a deep distrust of the traditional singer-songwriter tag and a love of Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’.
On the free tracks, Matt told CMU: “‘Kafka Song’ is a straight biography. It was meant to be the theme in a rock opera about Kafka versus a flesh-eating space-monster, for glove puppet theatre (I’m not making this up) but we couldn’t get it together. Maybe that was for the best. As for ‘What Comes Next’, I’m a selfish person, but hopefully not a bad one. I just want to survive. That’s as good a base as any for a catchy tune, don’t you think?”