Tinnitus Tonight is the latest & sneakiest full-measure serving from LARS FINBERG, world-class bon vivant and prolific Panic Rock artiste. Why so sneaky? Here’s the dirt: Finberg developed a nerve rash leading up his 2017 tootle, the TY SEGALL-assisted Moonlight Over Bakersfield. Rather than blindly leap from the comfy zone, he tip-toed in secret to a friendly but far-flung (cough*Sacramento*cough) studio to capture a reserve of slanted tunes with a proven-effective team of buds. Those comrades --- the glorious LAUREN MARIE MIKUS on keys, frequent collaborator & forever-gent KANNAN TUPPER on drums and, at the controls and elsewhere, the indestructible CHRIS WOODHOUSE --- all fostered a supportive framework that first allowed Finberg to “think” beyond THE INTELLIGENCE, gearing him up for a life in the spotlight (or moonlight, as it were). So yes indeed: what appears to be an adventurous follow-up also doubles as a prequel. Keep accurate score or you’re dusted.
The core of Tinnitus Tonight centers on an assemblage of Finberg’s most golden riffs –- trash-coustic but driftwood-smooth, naughty and infinite, all of ‘em bangers and/or buggers. Tunes sprout and move matador-like until an inevitable goring. The past-it grunt that kicks off “Burger Queen” prompts a mimed chef’s kiss. “My Prison” and “The Doors” are quintessential, truly distilled Finberg moments, compounding his trademark acerbic, out-for-blood wit with these absurdly cool, whip-crack guitars. The massively impressive “Public Admirer” is unequivocally the loudest, most damaged blurt from this doggie in at least a decade. In total, Tinnitus Tonight is a wonderful and welcome reminder that our guy is a very real rouser and a vital, unique purveyor of artful aggression, playful and powerful.
Finberg beams really fuckin’ brightly under his own name, perhaps more so than with any group orchestration he happens to be braising with. Do these higher personal stakes call for a dastardlier delivery? Maybe this permeating 2020 End Times feeling prohibits the normal corralling of the subconscious mind? Whatever the answers are, you will find them here. -Mitch Cardwell