Finsbury Green is the debut album for Adelaide band, Andy Roberts, a project driven by guitarist Craig Lewis and featuring a range of other local musicians, including Buck (bass) and Sean Kemp (drums). Lewis is a gifted guitarist and capable songwriter.
Recorded over a five year period, Finsbury Green is a collection of high-energy, guitar driven rock that begs to be played loud. With a range of discernible influences, such as Led Zeppelin, 90s grunge and even some psychedelia, the offering should please listeners starved of such genres at a time where music seems dominated by electronica and TV-manufactured pop.
The timespan in which the album was created allows the band to showcase a diversity of style that may not have been achieved if this collection was put together in much shorter time. The first seven tracks are a celebration of brash riffs and loud guitar solos. The highlight of this section is opening number, the lively screamer, “Take Me Down”, which features Zeppelinesque riffs under some Axl Rose style vocals. The album then rocks along in a similar vein for a bit, with some deviations in pace and vocals. “Layers” is a fast paced number that packs a catchy punch at just over two minutes, followed up by a much slower number, “Fortunes Fade”, which showcases some bluesy guitar work.
The album then changes direction at track 8 with “Love Will Grow”. From this point the acoustic guitar takes precedence, providing a counterpoint to the preceding tracks and offering some of the strongest songs of the collection. On this particular track the electric guitar disappears completely, giving us a catchy tune that blends late 60s psychedelic folk with grunge undertones. The following number, “Got It All Wrong”, starts off in much the same fashion before bringing the whole band in again. It’s a well-constructed song with a catchy chorus and the highlight of the album. “Be There” rounds off Finsbury Green in this slightly quieter vein, a laidback tune with cohesive interplay between a variety of guitar sounds.
In the midst of a period of high creative output, Andy Roberts is already working on a follow-up album. They are a talented local outfit who are worth checking out.
Review by Matthew Trainor