Last May, Israeli experimental rockers Tiny Fingers signed a record deal with Pelagic Records, as a result of which the label releases several of the band’s records; Megafauna (2012), We Are Being Held by the Dispatcher (2013) and The Fall (2015). The latter record, with it’s ocean-themed packaging and name, inevitably draws comparison to The Ocean’s Pelagial, but don’t let this apparent connection deceive you – The Fall is a record that cements Tiny Fingers as one of the most authentic and self-confident acts of the international scene.
RELEASE DATE: 20 May 2016 LABEL: Pelagic Records
Tiny Fingers are a band that speaks its own language. It creates a world – for the listener to behold – on its own terms. The Fall is the prime example of this world as well as another step in a new direction. Previous efforts featured an energetic, slightly haunting mixture of unison riffing, psychedelic electronics and staccato drumming, but where these records proved to be one-sided at times, The Fall portrays a more mature and coherent sound.
The collection of nine songs – about fifty minutes worth of music – can be divided up in two parts. The first part features a polyptych of four songs that seamlessly flow from one into the other. The Fall, Eyes of Gold and Traveller Soul behave like movements of a symphony, sweeping through crests and troughs, smooth undercurrents and stormy climaxes. In the end they all lead up to the most memorable song of the record, Deuteronomy. Here the listener is taken back to the epic riffing of old that made Megafauna such a great jam.
Along with the CD comes a booklet filled with poetry written by Israeli singer and band collaborator Daniella Tourgeman. Each song has its own poem, and these “unspoken words” are loosely interrelated. Through the song cycle, the voice of the poetess seems to be reaching out to something bigger than herself, something unknown, perhaps metaphysical, that she is unaware of at first, but which later turns into a silent desire. Thematically the first four songs function as a lead up to the second part of the record, talking about surrendering to this thing, alternately addressed as the other, dispatcher, or father. The language becomes increasingly religious and the fear of the unknown makes place for feelings of yearning and fascination.
As a whole, The Fall pretends little, but at the same time it encompasses a lot. Trying to categorise this album seems futile, because at the moment one puts a name to it – whatever it is, post-rock, experimental rock, psychedelic rock – the magic of the record recedes and the music is left misrepresented. Tiny Fingers create music on their own terms, and to their merit. Many bands wear their uniqueness on their sleeves, parading it like a one-trick pony, but these guys leave it all in the dirt and just play the hell out of it.
This album is yet another step in the evolutionary cycle in this band, and they refer as much to their previous material – Dispatcher and Traveller Soul (in the shape of Inphasing) both appeared on We Are Being Held by the Dispatcher– as that they are looking forward toward the future. The Fall is a pleasure to listen to, to explore and to reflect upon. The physical release is definitely worth buying for the sake of Daniella Tourgeman’s poetry, which forms an integral part of the release for me.