DEBUT ALBUM OUT TODAY
Story by Kate Davies
Even though they call Vancouver their home base, Fine Times fit right in with the all-American influx of catchy, indie new wave artists like Crystal Stilts, TV On the Radio, and Craft Spells. Their debut self-titled album hits record stores today and is undoubtedly of the “now” genre, acclimatising itself well with the infectious pop-rock of hipster culture.
Being produced by notorious hipster heavy-hitter Howard Redekopp (who is known for working with such artists as 54-40, Tegan and Sarah, Mother Mother, and Two Hours Traffic), the album boasts Redekopp’s “personal armory of vintage synths”. Along with the crafty songwriting of vocalist Matthew Moldowan and bassist Jeffrey Josiah Powell, the resulting sound promises to be packed with addictive melodies and heady production.
Album opener “Strays” is a vocally-pleasing jaunt that succeeds in grabbing the listener’s attention through its driving beat and well-placed synths. The record is then transported into the dynamic instrumentation that encapsulates first single “Hey Judas” – an obvious hit which keeps us on our toes with its time changes and epic grinds. Despite the third track’s great title of “High Brow Low Times”, the album falters as it begins to repeat itself. “Television Tel Aviv”, “And It Happened At Midnight”, “Into the Mechanarium”, and “Hungry Siamese” follow suit with their disappointingly monotonous lyrics and predictable arrangements.
Moldowan asserts that he has a short attention span: “if a record doesn’t catch me in the first listen or two, I probably won’t put it back on the record player”. Unfortunately, this mentality doesn’t seem to actually reflect the tone of Fine Times. Moldowan clearly knows how to write a hook, but the majority of the album is composed of a familiarity that becomes tiresome rather than triumphant. This is not to say that Fine Times is without its good moments. Undoubtedly the best track on the album, the Strokes-esque “Super Controller” gives us a glimpse into the unsung talent of this indie band. Although Fine Times may fall a little short of what was expected, it’s worth keeping our ears to the ground to find out how this Canadian band develops in the future.
Check out their first single, “Hey Judas”