Finch — Beyond Expression
(Pseudonym CDP 1015 DD, 1976/1994, CD)
Finch — Galleons of Passion
(Belle Antique BELLE 071305, 1977/2007, CD)
by Mike Grimes, Published 1995-07-01
The second and third albums from Dutch band Finch have recently been digitally remastered and reissued on CD, closely following the reissue of their debut album Glory of the Inner Force. Finch follows the path they carved with their first release on these two subsequent albums — a full, symphonic, all-instrumental sound with guitar and keyboard solos for days. There isn't room, nor is there a need for vocals in Finch. Guitarist and primary songwriter Joop Van Nimwegen (that's such a cool name) is an excellent player who frequently shares the limelight with keyboards, especially on Galleons of Passion.
Beyond Expression was originally released in 1976 and is the same four piece band that recorded the debut a year earlier. This is probably my favorite of the three albums. The band sounds really tight and the music really grooves. In 1977, Galleons of Passion was released and had two new players: one at the keyboards and one on drums. Although the sound of Finch is really defined by Joop's guitar, this last album doesn't have the same energy as the first two releases, yet it's still quite good. Finch is one of those bands that follows a predictable formula (thanks Ranjit), yet are very creative operating within their defined parameters. Essentially every song follows the format: grand symphonic intro, fast instrumental section in odd meter, slow groove with guitar solo, another fast part, keyboard solo, another slow part, ...etc. You get the picture. Although almost every song is like this, it doesn't get boring because the band is great in this type of setting. One of the strongest points of the band is their ability to switch between these fast and slow sections during a song and make it flow smoothly. Nothing sounds forced or rough. On the down side, as the songs really focus on the guitar and keyboards, there are very few memorable bass or drum parts on either album. The rhythm section remains firmly rooted in the background. They're good, but just not featured that much.
Finch is one of those bands that, if you like any of their albums, you'll like all of them — or vice versa. They can groove and jam with the best of them. Their sound is comparable to Focus, early Pink Floyd, and even Camel (especially Galleons — the keyboards on that album are the most prominent, not to mention the best, of all three Finch releases). They really thrive on fast, odd time signature jams as well as slow moody sections. The recording quality of the CDs is quite good, especially for the time period they were originally recorded. The remastering was obviously well done. Have a listen for yourself. Finch is definitely worth checking out.
Related artist(s): Finch
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more