Fresh from supporting Feeder at Koko the night before, London locals and Occupy rabble-rousers fiN took to the stage again on Wednesday at the tiny Borderline venue. Celebrating the release of their latest single Rapture/Everybody Dies Alone, they consolidated a recent groundswell of public approval with a roof-raising set. With guitar-swinging heroics, thousand-mile stares and an all-engulfing, reverb-heavy sound reminiscent of stadium rockers of yore, fiN seem hell-bent on world domination, no matter how small the crowd they’re playing to. Frontman Luke Joyce gave it his absolute all, twitching like a deranged Thom Yorke during the band’s more frantic moments and scaling a nearby balcony as the set built up a late head of steam. His bandmates reciprocated with scarily passionate, drum-tight renditions of their steadily-increasing collection of fan favourites.
All of this is highly commendable given the reticent wet blankets that pass for rock stars these days, but can fiN back up their bravado with memorable songs? On the latest evidence: yes, just about. The Artisan made for an odd choice of début single back in October, a wordless tangle of guitars and harmonies that pummelled rather than seduced, but it made perfect sense as the opening battle cry, and led seamlessly into Rapture, a propulsive and melodic beast of a song that is sure to gain recognition with a nationwide release. Elsewhere, Turning Me Inside-Out, a breathless blast of pop reminiscent of early Killers at their most intense, was dedicated to Joyce’s father in the audience, and the mellow It Changes Everything made for a nice shift in pace and inspired a mass sing-along by the die-hard fans. Musical touchstones include Funeral for a Friend in their anthemic prime, and Incubus, whom fiN recently supported at the gargantuan Alexandra Palace – further evidence of their staggering ambition.
Ironically, the only musical mis-step of the evening was the single they were there to promote, Everyone Dies Alone – too bombastic and try-hard to do justice to the heavy subject matter, it felt slightly rushed on the night and paled in comparison to some of their more commercial numbers. Indeed, fiN have a worrying tendency to revert to generalised slogans for lyrics, and we wouldn’t want another U2 on our hands, would we? However, the band rallied with Life is Wasted on the Living, their own “Motown Junk”-esque manifesto of discontent nihilism, which got everyone going again and made for a fantastic closer. This band is hungry, alive and seemingly very, very angry, so who am I to doubt their plans for rock ‘n’ roll supremacy?
Photos: VJ Von Art