Review by Dom Vigil
Mood, tempo and key changes dominate Fine Fine Titans’ newest release, Renaissance, making it an incredibly versatile listen. From the explosive opening track, “We Planted A Bleeding Heart” to slower, softer songs such as “Carved Out,” Fine Fine Titans prove again and again that they are more than capable of writing diverse and captivating songs, all while establishing a sound that is all their own, and incredibly easy to pick out of a pack.
“We Planted A Bleeding Heart” is a smart opening track for Renaissance simply because of vocalist Jennifer Bartlett’s incredible vocal range. From deep, rich lows, to the shining few high notes, Bartlett’s voice is impossible to ignore on this first track, demanding your attention from the very beginning and keeping it in a vice grip until the end. Bartlett transitions from wild screams to clean lows and highs in the blink of an eye, leading up to the stunning ending of the track, accented by beautiful long notes and a captivating guitar riff. “I Just Saw A Ghost” follows “We Planted A Bleeding Heart” and immediately shows us another side of Fine Fine Titans. This track is a little more wild and unpredictable than the first song, which makes it even more surprising when it transitions into the third track, “Molasses Tongue,” which holds the same dark feeling as “I Just Saw A Ghost,” but is quite a bit slower and a little sludgey. The guitar tone is the first thing that stands out about “Molasses Tongue,” stepping away from the first two songs, which are carried heavily by the vocals.
While there are some very different sounds on the first few songs on Renaissance, the mood on them remains similar - dark, eerie and haunting, with quite a bit of aggression packed in there, too. This overall mood and tone may cause some songs to sound similar, but the saving grace of Renaissance comes in the wild and unpredictable sound and tempo changes. The difference between the high energy “Appetite” and the following melodic track, “Mistress” is a great example of this. “Mistress” is a standout track because of the beautiful guitar work that not only carries the song forward, but also changes within the blink of an eye. On top of that, “Mistress” is one of the more melodic songs on the album, but it’s catchy without selling out or sounding unlike the rest of the album. “Mistress” provides a breath of fresh air while still staying true to the dark mood of Renaissance, providing the perfect middle track to refresh you before the second half of the album.
“Carved Out” follows “Mistress,” and is another standout track because of its soft and emotional quality, but also because of the huge mood and sound change toward the end of the song. The vocals and lyrics are solid throughout the rest of the album, but they are especially strong on this track. Relatable lines such as, “We are not our past mistakes or stifling regret/We will not be the abuse we’ve been stricken with,” are sure to hit home with many listeners, making this song one of the strongest on the album.
Rounding out the end of Renaissance is the final spoken word track, “Guillotine.” Even spoken, Jennifer Bartlett’s voice is powerful and captivating, making the final track a surprisingly strong ending. Though you’d almost expect an explosive ending from Fine Fine Titans, “Guillotine” will catch listeners off guard and keep them interested, proving that Renaissance is more than meets the eye. Not only is this album an incredibly explosive and versatile release, it’s also very emotionally raw and powerful. There’s a little something for everyone on Renaissance.
Listen to "Mistress" or "Carved Out"