Monday, 4 January 2016

Album Review: Fingerprints & Handwriting by Edgarville

Edgarville are one of the more unique acts in the UK’s punk rock scene. With just an acoustic guitar, some throaty vocals and a drum kit, Edgarville have been impressing audiences all over the United Kingdom and Europe. In the New Year the duo have a new album titled Fingerprints and Handwriting coming out and I had the opportunity to check it out early.

The opening track is named Extensions and starts out with a gentle guitar riff before singer Ed's booming vocals begin. It's the vocal on this track, and indeed the whole album, that really help the songs grab all of your attention. The second track Whatever That Feels Like has a very interesting song structure Whereas most songs build towards a big chorus Edgarville have switched things up and have a big, loud verse and a soft, quiet chorus. The gang vocals at the end of the song are superb and have some fantastic lyrics - "We're All Different, We Each Have A Struggle, We All Need Help, Cos We're All In Trouble." Corn is another song that starts out slowly with Ed's gruff vocals adding all kinds of heart and emotion to the song. Eventually, as you might expect, the tempo of the song picks up and develops into a bit of a pop song. I could definitely see this being a single from the album. It must be a real crowd pleaser live with its whoa-oh moments. Song number four, Cous Cous, is the song that really stood out to me when I first listened to Fingerprints and Handwriting and is the song that stood out when I saw Edgarville at Book Yer Ane Fest. The anger in Ed's voice at the beginning of the songs adds something different from the previous track - showing a nice bit of variety in Edgarville's songwriting.

Oscar has somewhat of a stop start beginning before it really gets going. After that it is one of the more straightforward songs on the album with another big vocal performance. The sixth song, Thoughtless serves as a musical interlude. It features a great string arrangement that really carries you through the song. Smile Emoticon is a short song where Ed's vocals really carry the melody of the song. It's about having the ability to recognise when you are talking too much and sometimes just listening instead. Hugh is another instrumental song where Ed shows off his amazing ability with a guitar, I'm not someone who is usually too keen on instrumental songs but this track really captivated me and shows off that punk musicians can really play their instruments very well. After the instrumentals the album really bursts back into life with the song The Flow. Ed's unmistakable vocals start the song off with some real force on another of the albums stand-out tracks. It's about the decisions you make in your life and attempting to go with 'the flow' no matter if it's good or bad. Nice Dad feel incredibly stripped back, even for this album. I like how the drumming stands out on the track despite the softer feel to the whole song. The breakdown in the middle of the song is excellent; love the raw whoa-ohs. Normally a song would build towards ending with that kind of moment so it was especially cool for it to be thrown into the middle of the track.

Like A Wave is more of traditional sounding folk punk number that builds towards a big acapella finish. I imagine that this song is absolutely cracking in a live setting with that finish. The song is about it being okay to mess things up from time to time and learning to forgive yourself. This is another standout track on Fingerprints and Handwriting. The penultimate track is named Actions is another fully instrumental song. An electric guitar is used as well as the introductions of some strings for the first time on the album. Fingerprints and Handwriting is completed with the song Crabs In A Bucket. At almost seven minutes long it's a lengthy track but never feels like it drags. There are plenty of highs and lows throughout as Edgarville show off what talented musicians and songwriters they are. Crabs In A Bucket is about the struggles of growing as a person. The lyrics in the chorus especially grabbed my attention on my first listen of the song. A very strong way to finish a great album.

Stream and download Fingerprints & Handwriting here:

Like Edgarville here: