Gauntlet –  Bonne Finken (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If there is anyone doing something more inspiring in popular music at the moment, then I will be very surprised. Okay, I know music is subjective but even amongst the masses of music which crosses my desk on a daily basis, Gauntlet stands head and shoulders above the pack. Too many artists think that to get noticed they have to create new genres, work outside the box, try to draw attention with gimmicks and shiney distractions. What I love about Bonne Finken is that she works with the same pop, rock and indie sonic building blocks that are available to everyone else but what she brings to the table is great songwriting. It’s as simple as that!

We have already heard the opener ahead of this album’s release and where many artist front load their record with the big, obvious single to draw people in only to fade out once they have the listener on board, here Down Down feels more like a softener, something to prepare you for what’s to come. And what comes is a relentless wave of quality songs, one’s which blend pop sensibility with rock power, indie outsiderness with dark and brooding passions, melody with some smart compositional choices, great arrangements and hook-laden anthems.

Someday is a lesson in burning intensity, slowly building towards its sonic pay-off to explode in spiralling vocal crescendos, a battery of beats and a salvo of musical broadsides and Holy Water seemlessly blends together dance, electronica, angelic choral breaks and a gothic rock swagger. Silver Skin takes us down some dark paths and My Bullet sees her go full on rock. It’s all there and then some.

Bonne Finken is the perfect example of the modern artist, someone who combines samples with real time playing, who embraces the digital and the analogue worlds, who is unencumbered by the notion of genres, fad or fashion. Gauntlet is the sound of someone not only embracing the future but creating it as well.

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