Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fingerprintz- Lost Tracks: Volume 4

I haven't thought about Jimmie O'Neill and Fingerprintz in 20 years. It could be more. (What's 2010 minus 1982? See?)

Then, when I least expected it, a few guys over at the absolutely stupefying Anything Should Happen blog started chatting about these 3 records that have been long out of print, and how great they were. And how great the band was. And that great song "Ringing Tone." And that other great song "Get Civilised."

Here's a bit of what AMG has to say about these guys:

Formed by Scottish-born singer/guitarist Jimmie O'Neill in 1978, the 'Printz slowed down punk's careening guitar rock, adding clever, rhythmic twists and turns, and offering up deftly written stories about lust, angst, and urban desolation. The problem was finding an audience; the music was certainly spot-on, but one can only guess as to what kept hordes of people away. Certainly it wasn't the quality of their recorded work, which, despite occasional concessions to slick production, is mostly smart and insightful. All three Fingerprintz records are long out of print, which is a thinly veiled recommendation for someone to compile a CD anthology.

I bought "Beat Noir," their final release, on the recommendation of a friend, who I know is reading this now. He was such a fan that he actually got excited when he found out Don Snow was touring with Squeeze. (Don Snow. Unofficial member of Fingerprintz. One tour of duty with Squeeze, I believe. Hey, we should all find pleasure in the little things.)

Like most bands of that time, dated production steals more than a bit of the charms that made them so appealing in the first place. Check out the two tracks from 1981's "Beat Noir," and listen to a band doing what Prince didn't really nail until 1983.



And as a bonus, here are two from 1980's "Distinguishing Marks."



Many thanks to Power Pop Criminals for supplying the rips of these three long lost albums.


The Phantom Creep said...

I'm not sure the songs do it for me, but I have to say that "Distinguishing Marks" is one the better album titles.

Ken D said...

I know I have a couple of these LPs down in the basement. Good excuse to get a turntable again (one of these days, yeah sure).

The core of Fingerprintz went on to become The Silencers. Their first 2 albums were outstanding, the 3rd pretty strong, then I lost track of them. Seems they've kept at it ... can anyone tell me if their later output is worth tracking down?

Aaron said...

I used to really dig this album. I, too hadn't thought about it for about 20 years. The other record I remember from them had a catchy tune called "Amnesia" on it.