Anyone who is a fan of the mid-20th century, classic American novel will appreciate the voice that Finn uses to weave his small town narratives. It is the same voice you find chattering away at the heart of Bukowski and Kerouac, and once made into music it rings with Springsteen-esque deliveries and Waitsian dreams.
Finn delivers songs to the listener as a barfly does to the next drinker along, the fading early evening light streams through the windows and dust motes dance through the diffused haze. This isn’t where you planned to be but the tales are hypnotising and you recognise yourself in these reflective, kitchen sink odes of love, loss, longing and a life that hasn’t really meet its expectations.
And whilst The E-Street Band would play this more anthemically and Waits would opt for his usual warped musical route, the same honesty and cultural references abound in Finn’s back street operettas. Straightforward observations are the order of the day and lyrically these could be sketches for short stories but instead they are given musical wings to travel the world.
You will find a lot that is familiar on this album, not that it falls into pastiche or plunder, it feels more like walking around the block that you live on, hanging out in the bars you grew up near and observing the lives of the people you have know all your life. You don’t always need a flash of wisdom or clever prose to make a song work, sometimes it is enough to just feel in your comfort zone, it is often broken, edgy, “tired and hostile” but it is home. And this is its autobiography.