Being a first time parent reveals, whether you like it or not, exactly the type of person you really are. When you’re a musician that can be a rather eye-opening experience; it can lead to the end of your musical road, other times it leads to you write things you never thought possible. If you’re Birmingham’s Dead Fingers it has noticeable effects and does everything but hinder your sound.
After their self-titled release, they seemed to have disappeared. I lingered with “4 Stone Coaches” and “Another Planet” playing heavily in steady rotation years later, but in the back of my mind wondered what happened to the Hollingsworth duo.
Well, now I know. And as we all learned as kids, knowing is half the battle. The other half apparently, is being armed with something like Big Black Dog.
The follow up to their 2012 release has everything I fell in love with about Dead Fingers but adds moments I wasn’t expecting. Moving ever-so-slightly away from the alternating vocals per track duo sound, and not just by adding Alan Rosser on drums, Kate and Taylor Hollingsworth combine vocals on nearly every track throughout the record creating an interesting, yet well balanced dynamic. Her beautiful, pure voice intertwining his raspy, almost quirky filled vocals boldly develops a sound I can’t get enough of; even more so than their last album. I get lost in Big Black Dog, I can’t seem to put my finger on a particular track, but I don’t find myself wanting to be found. I just want to stay with its heart-driven southern plucking folk/rock sound and let the world continue on around me. Sure there is the frolicking Southern Stomp of “Shoom Doom Babba Labba” and the Simon-esc “Twisted” or even the mind-picking intro of “Holy Water” that I gravitate to as a starting point, but what is done throughout the eleven songs is a more refined, but never less, sound of a band that I already loved. The release is proof that there is more up their sleeve than meets the eye. For now, I just have eleven more reasons to love them.
Call it progress; call it a slightly different direction to recording, but you cannot call it tame. Dead Fingers have one of the most identifiable sounds you can come across and combined with their musical prowess they are a gem for the independent music scene. This is only solidified with the release of another great album in Big Black Dog.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot. He appreciates the slow things in life and sees value in music taking time.