Fink: This is the Thing
Ninja Tune

The Heavy: That Kind of Man

Light years removed from the ambient electronic material he once issued (like 2000's Fresh Produce), the two brooding acoustic songs on Fink's single anticipate the Brighton-based singer-songwriter's upcoming Distance and Time album. Haunted by the regret and pain brought on by broken relationships (“The things that keep us apart, keep me alive / And the things that keep me alive, keep me alone”), the brooding folk-blues tunes don't radically deviate from the style of Biscuits for Breakfast. With Fink's aggressive acoustic guitar and voice sparsely accompanied by bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer Tim Thornton, “This is the Thing” pushes forward with its swooning melodies and swinging rhythms; augmented by hymnal hums, the song's punch line arrives in the form of a whisper (“This is the thing”). Despite a somewhat ominous tone, “Make it Good,” on the other hand, finds Fink in a more hopeful frame of mind (“Put it back together, piece by piece / Put it back together, make it good”).

The Heavy's sound inhabits an entirely different stylistic universe. Certainly the group's name doesn't bode well, but there's no denying the material on this teaser for the band's Great Vengeance & Furious Fire full-length makes an impression. On three raw tracks, singer Swaby, guitarist Taylor, bassist page, and drummer Dingly stoke a ferocious brew pieced together from soul, funk, and hip-hop. In the raucous opening raver “That Kind of Man,” a bombastic Rare Earth-meets-Led Zeppelin horn-guitar riff steamrolls behind a Curtis Mayfield-styled vocal, while hip-hop and falsetto soul collide in “Coleen” and the slightly more laid-back “Easier.”

September 2007