The Fingertip Saint Sessions (Volume One)

...a gift for turning classic pop into something that doesn't sound like slow, creeping death.

Since The Boo Radleys withered away at the very beginning of 1999, esteemed songwriter Martin Carr has been largely silent; only a track on last year’s compilation ‘The Carve Up’, under the Brave Captain name, showed signs of new life. Yet after holing up in Wales with Super Furries/Gorky‘s producer Gorwel Owen, the good has finished its explorations of the word ‘esoteric’, and is finally ready to out.

– and sure enough, green shoots spring out all over ‘The Fingertip Saint Sessions’.

Carr has always been blessed with a gift for turning classic pop into something that doesn’t sound like slow, creeping death -by-reverence and, at first, this excursion into the blue sees no shocking policy change. Opening track ‘Raining Stones’ pushes an entire orchestra down the psychedelic slide, a sudden electronic mind-meld possibly bearing testament to Owen‘s influence, while the pure-grain country melancholy of ‘Starfish’ appears to have been eavesdropping in Tennessee bars. Yet things take a lurch for the odd with ‘Big Red Control Machine’ – violin fear, techno croak, mariachi menace, all quite literally with bells on – and the squealing stop-the-loop dread of ‘Little Buddah’, rhythmically kicking over the traces of MBV and The Breeders.

With this six-track release, the ground is prepared for a full-length album in the autumn. It should be something to look forward to, for, even at this strange and quiet pace, ‘The Fingertip Saint Sessions…’ deters disillusion, wards off disenchantment. Still in love with music, still looking for potential and possibilities, it’s a definite article of faith.