by Richard Hart
Brighton based band “The Mojo Fins” have a new EP coming out built around the song “The Spirit” and I was lucky enough to get a listen to it. Signed to Amazon records, The Mojo Fins have been around since 2004 but have not attracted a huge amount of attention up to now.
The EP contains four songs which are probably best defined as a modern indie with a bit of a melancholy tone. I wouldn’t go as far as to describe them as an EMO act but they are a little on the mournful side.
‘The Spirit’ is a melodic, cyclical song which is quiet and poppy. It’s a tiny bit reminiscent of something that David Gray might produce, guitar focused and with a sweet but fairly shallow vocal track. The lyrics are built around a chorus.
The problem is that there didn’t appear to be a whole lot more to the track than you first notice. It’s well produced, well sung and the instrumentals are just fine. But there doesn’t seem to be anything deeper or stronger to it.
Second up on the EP is ‘Palace of Memory’. Slower than the first track and evoking a sense of yearning rather than outright reflection, this track builds towards a climax but deliberately rather than with an energy or pace. In the end it sort of just peters out.
Third track ‘K2’ is probably the strongest on the EP. Largely built around wistful acoustic guitar and pained lyrics, this song builds up a sad and slightly empty atmosphere. As befits the theme of the whole EP, the song floats along like a grey kite and then just kind of vanishes from view.
Finally there is the ambient, morose ‘When I Go’. An elegant, if slightly somnolent song that features gentle piano and guitar but barely lifts its head above the parapets.
The whole EP features well crafted performances and is nicely produced, the years of experience the band have shine through. However the lyrics, the singing and even the composition of the tracks is vague and uninspiring.
It’s decent background music and probably fits the mood of an angsty second year art student but to me, it seemed to lack drive. The singers delivery of his lyrics lacked passion and bite and at times he could have been singing about anything at all.
On first listen, I felt that the EP was similar to a less forceful version of “Crowded House”. Whilst a “coffee table” piece like David Grays famous “White Ladder”, the lyrics lack the same punch. It’s a nice, inoffensive EP filled with tracks that float in the air with a gossamer lightness and then are, sadly, forgotten just minutes later.
The potential is there and for some, this sort of thing will be exactly what they are looking for. But I’m not sure I’d remember I owned it if I was to buy it. It’s a shame that people who are clearly talented have fallen short of making a vivid impression.