Review: Edgarville – Fingerprints & Handwriting

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Image: Album artwork

We all know it’s tough to make a name for yourself in the music industry; that’s part of playing the game. But that’s where bands such as Edgarville, who don’t let a little hard graft defeat them, shine, even if they have to do it all themselves- which they have with their debut album, Fingerprints & Handwriting.

For a band that have poured every last ounce of themselves into this album, with very little help from outside resources and relying mostly on their own D.I.Y ethic, the production of Fingerprints & Handwriting is top-notch, and you can hear that right from opening track ‘Extensions.’ Not many self-made bands can pull that off, so kudos to Edgarville.

The fact that this is an all-acoustic album might surprise you, given the stark punk vocals that override these delicate melodies. In some tracks this works brilliantly; ‘Corn’, for example, opens our ears to a soulful voice brimming with emotion, pain and a story to tell. Similarly, the subtle acoustic tones in final track ‘Crabs’ allow this vocalist to show off his light-and-shade range. However, there are times- ‘Cous Cous’, for one- that this voice reaches a point of becoming overpowering, making us feel more intimidated than anything else.

Moments of Fingerprints & Handwriting are a real joy to listen to. ‘Oscar’ is one of them, giving us a tangy yet pleasing medley of upbeat, folksy, pop-like acoustics and rough ’n’ ready vocals. ‘Smile Emoticon’, despite being a little all over the place, shows a new side to the band with its cool pop-punk edge.

The bounce of these tracks, however, is sadly brought down by the album’s three- yes, three!– instrumental tracks. While each is an admirable piece of musicianship- ‘Thoughtless’ brings atmospheric ambience, ‘Hugh’ is sweet and humbling and ‘Actions’ is a whirlwind of interesting sounds- three instrumentals in a 13-track album is just unnecessary and halts what would otherwise be a pleasant ebb and flow.

Edgarville have given themselves entirely to this album and, despite a couple of bumps in the road, the end result of Fingerprints & Handwriting is something this band should be proud to call their own.

Fingerprints & Handwriting is released on 8th January 2016 via self-release.

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