KINGFINGER – Love Change
(2005 Fe Records)
Former Madisonians Kingfinger moved to Los Angeles in 2003 shortly after releasing the supreme Letters from Earth album. The band, and especially main man Alex Fieiras, has maintained close ties with DNA Studios and they stayed at the local studio to record this album. Like Letters from Earth, the eight songs on Love Change were expertly co-produced, recorded and mixed by Mark Whitcomb who also contributes some piano, guitar and vocal tracks.
According to Fieiras, the band has been “kicked around a bit” since relocating to the ultra-competitive City of Angels and Love Change is a hard-hitting collection of rock tunes that reflect the band’s struggles, professionally and romantically. Though not as elegant as Letters…, Love Change bites down and only lets go for the semi-acoustic “Brand New Fiasco.” Especially visceral is “Code Red,” in which Fieiras sings “In these cities, I have prayed / In these cities I have made my grave,” his Jim Morrison-esque vocals growling over a thick guitar that seems, like the band, to be pushing on, come what may. Another standout is “Above All Things (Sellout),” which likewise relays the frustrations of fitting into an overcrowded L.A. market and preening for an indifferent but demanding industry. “Voyeur” similarly rocks with abandon. “Down to One” is another cool track, the turntables of John Baszynski (Deviant) coming to the fore. The tune also features a rap from Madison’s Brown Recluse. This is where Kingfinger excels, mixing driving hard rock swagger with urban elements.
Love Change feels like a band in transition, clocking in at just over thirty minutes. Word from the band is that they’re feeling good and gaining momentum. Already back at DNA recording some new tracks, Fieiras is excited about the results although this batch could end up as either a Fieiras album or a Kingfinger album. The adjustment period may be passing for Kingfinger in terms of settling into a new market but they will have a lot to prove with their next recording in order to woo the execs. But the foundation of the band is solid, as Love Change suggests, and with luck we’ll be seeing them on tour in these parts as the next step of their evolution. In the meantime, crank this one up!