Long Fin Killie
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Houdini , 6/10
Valentino , 6/10
Amelia , 6/10
Bows: Blush , 6/10
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Long Fin Killie is a Scottish band led by Luke Sutherland that plays austere, no-nonsense pop, often countered with abrasive harmonies and occasionally augmented with ethnic instruments. As usual in Britain, they started out with a string of EPs and singles: Buttergut (Too Pure, 1994), with the lengthy instrumental Butterbelly and the epic gallop of Suki, The Heads Of Dead Surfers (Too Pure, 1995), with dissonant violin and a hint of hip hop, and Vanilla (Too Pure, 1995), that eventually led to the pretentious Houdini (Too Pure, 1995).
While mixing rock with folk is not a particularly original idea, and while the music remains cold and unnerving, the band boasts a few experiments that intrigue (Man Ray, How I Blew With Houdini) and the extended jam of Unconscious Gangs Of Men exploits the trancey quality of their instrumentation for a raga/dub/jazz transfiguration of celtic music. In a sense, Long Fin Killie update Pentangle to the age of Dirty Three, with more than a passing knowledge of Pram and A R Kane.

Rhino and Hands And Lips are the singles that preceded Valentino (Too Pure, 1996). Godiva, the dub-tinged Pele, the funk-drenched Kitten Heels, the dream-poppy Valentino show maturity and sophistication.

The jungle-infected single Lipstick leads the album Amelia (Too Pure, 1997) towards even less traditional sounds. Surprisingly, a number of songs (British Summertime, Kismet, Gold Swinger and Bigger Than England) are as accessible as they are experimental.

After the LFK split at the end of 1997, Sutherland's next move was Bows, that signaled a rapid turn towards the new fads of jungle and trip-hop. Two female singers and string arrangements helped him make Blush (Too Pure, 1999), a collection that displays his middle-of-the-road taste for revising and popularizing dream-pop (Speed Marina, Blush) and drum'n'bass (Big Wings , Britannica) without adding a single idea to the canon.

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