Review of Smokehouse EP by FingerSnap

A fresh, soul-drenched, catchy offering, the Smokehouse EP is the debut release from FingerSnap; a collaboration between two established musicians David McAlmont and Guy Davies.

'I Wanna Rise' kicks in immediately with a funky bass groove and string hook; the bass-flanked verse establishes the soulful Fingersnap blend and pushes into a catchy chorus equally as strong as any of the great 70s soul tracks, sounding the powerful smooth soul vocal of David McAlmont. The opening track to the duo's debut EP is undeniably strong, well-produced with an irresistibly infectious movement-inducing quality. 'Some Kind Of Masterpiece' opens with left hand piano accompanied by a subtle percussion line creating a gentle Latin vibe; the sparse accompaniment really highlights McAlmont's flexible and effortless vocal. The track gradually builds up with a characteristically soul rhythm guitar part and gentle string lines, pushing into a much fuller blend for the second verse and onwards, concluding with a soulful guitar solo fade out. Fingersnap's closest contemporary is perhaps someone like Cee Lo Green, but this is an undoubtedly fuller orchestration with high-quality production in the vein of one of the soul legends; Stevie Wonder, for instance.

FingerSnap Smokehouse EP

The up-tempo 'Mister' opens with percussion-flanked vocals which are gradually joined by layer after layer, bass the guitars, before pushing forward into a fuller, string-backed blend. Thinner verses are contrasted by fuller choruses throughout, intercepted by Chuck Berry-esque guitar licks and flavoured by the distinctive vibrato of the Hammond organ. Smokehouse concludes with a stunning piano-accompanied vocal solo, 'The Bishop Of New Hampshire' which sounds the beautiful clarity of McAlmont's vocal in a steady paced ballad to conclude Fingersnap's debut collaborative EP. Also featuring London's Gay Men's Chorus who are particularly evident in the tracks' moving a capella vocal outro, the concluding track, about the openly gay American bishop Gene Robinson, is heartfelt and emotional with lyrics telling of the horror of homophobic reality.

Infectious and toe-tapping alongside stunningly moving; Fingersnap's debut herald's the beginning of a superbly formed musical partnership.

Hannah Spencer

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