Cambridge, England-based duo Fingermouse & Rubberneck are set to release their first ever EP stateside on September 2nd, 2016 via the newly formed Invisible Milk Records. Fingermouse and Rubberneck are Tom Few (lead, rhythm guitars and vocals) and Simon Murfitt (bass, harmonica, vocals and digital bodging). Blending EDM and hip-hop production techniques with the sounds of indie/blues/rock and funk – “It’s a blend of a very diverse range of influences that works entirely by accident” says guitarist and vocalist Tom Few.
The album is indie-rock at its core, but it is polished and waxed with a nice hipster coating. The marriage of this melodic songwriting, gritty bluesy performances and stylish electronic twist makes for a record that is unmistakably cool.
“Samsquantch” exemplifies a very extraordinary talent of meshing all kinds of different instruments, acoustic, electric and electronic together, and having what comes out not become an indiscernible mess of noise. The guitars are piquing, the bass lush and full, the drums ablaze; this continues for the EP’s entirety.
The one-two punch of the tracks, “The Mouse” and “Nothing I Can Do” that opens the record is the kind of combo that could so easily prevent the rest of the EP from being heard.
Both are bouncy slices of indie rock guaranteed to get feet tapping: “The Mouse” rides a jittery beat and the oscillating vocals make the chorus perfectly memorable and perfectly simple, while “Nothing I Can Do” mixes buzzing guitars and a twisted harmonica with a jangly chorus that just begs to be sung along to.
“Samsquantch” comes off as a very vibrant, modern-sounding record. Songs like the “Out In The Heat” and “What You Want” sound like the stereophonic equivalent of a blues-dripping psychedelic rainbow; full-bodied whiskey-stained compositions that embrace a wall-of-sound production style but maintain Fingermouse & Rubberneck’s dedication to keeping it relatively funky and danceable, resulting in something fresh.
They close the EP with two more distinct versions of “The Mouse”, which is obviously the recording’s focus track. As a fan of music nothing pleases me more than musicians willing to experiment with sounds that are as vibrant and rich as the music this duo creates on this EP.
Overall, Fingermouse & Rubberneck toss borders and conventions aside in favor of an expertly crafted funk and groove-induced alternative rock EP. When they create a song they fill it with emotional impact and complex dynamic shifts. When it works, it’s almost magical, and when it doesn’t, it’s still completely dazzling.
And I’ll admit it, I’ve heard a lot of brilliant music coming out of England over the years, but this is by far the most imaginative in recent times. Fingermouse & Rubberneck are probably the country’s best underground export right now!