Since releasing their debut album, Hover, in 2015, San Francisco’s FINE POINTS have continued to lay the brickwork of their narco-pop stylings. After securing choice support slots for hazy contemporaries such as White Fence, The Warlocks, and The Fresh & Onlys, the band would tour the West Coast, returning home to break ground on their next album.
Amidst line-up changes, lifestyle changes, and additional touring commitments for founding members Evan Reiss and Matt Holliman of Sleepy Sun, this process would face more than a few obstacles.
Somewhere down the line of demoing new material, Grammy-winning producer Jason Carmer (Third Eye Blind, Billy Idol, Merle Haggard) reached out to the band. An invitation to record at his Outland Studio in Berkeley, CA proved fruitful, yielding “The Fang”, a hauntingly optimistic track that would secure Carmer’s role as producer for their upcoming album.
Eventually taking the opening bow of their second album, Take Shape, “The Fang” quickly showcases the newest member of the band, Owen Kelley, on piano. Kelley would primarily fill the role of bass in FINE POINTS, rounding out the rhythm section led by longtime drummer Josh Unger. “He was absolutely in the trenches,” remarks Reiss, of Kelley’s performance on the album.
Due to scheduling difficulties and said touring commitments, the boys would find themselves in the trenches with Take Shape for an increased duration, wrapping up the recording of the album in the Summer of 2017.
As a quote attributed to da Vinci goes, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” While Take Shape found the band in the depths of an unexpected timeframe, it’s inevitable “desertion” is one of relief and pride for the band.
“You eventually have to draw a line in the sand and wrap up the work,” Holliman says, “lest you start meddling too much with the creative spark.” And Take Shape shows many of such sparks – the flint-and-steel glow laid bare by Creation Records alumnus, the vocal pomp of Lee Hazlewood and Brian Wilson, and the reverb-laden walls of sound enshrined by Phil Spector. It’s an album that bears witness to countless pitfalls, changes, and hardships, but eventually finishes where FINE POINTS started: a couple of guys with guitars, talented friends, and the unerring march towards the next trench.
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