Melody Maker | Live | 25 July 1992
Camden Palace, London
I used to have Finitribe down as Devo Mk II. A lot of it was to do with their stage clothes. The "Clockwork Orange" suits were especially tiresome. "Make It Internal" was their "Mongoloid", their one decent song. Until they released "101", that is. "101" was my favourite record of last year. By miles.
"101" opens tonight's show. The simple melody works a charm and the bass nearly rips the club's massive speakers to shreds. The tribal techno drums are tougher than an ageing elephant's bunion and the effects are pure nuts. No wonder the song is sometimes known as "Sonic Shuffle". What's more, Finitribe follow it with an astonishing version of "Monster In The House", one of their tunes from yonks ago. You want to know why it's astonishing? Fuck off, I'm busy dancing.
Finitribe play inside a metal skeleton. Only the bassist has an instrument in the usual, musical sense of the word. Two of the others wallop electronic pads with sticks. One pad sounds like a keyboard. The fourth member of the group twiddles knobs. It's the appliance of science and all that. Their bright white-with-black-stars suits are a great advertisement for Omo. They look fucking ridiculous, but that goes without saying.
Eyes closed, the samples of classic cartoon voices that break up the tracks work brilliantly. Foghorn Leghorn and that short-arsed, ginger-whiskered sheriff would lighten the mood of a Russian state funeral. As would the slinky "Ace Love Deuce". The closing track, "Forevergreen", the band's current single, lasts longer than your average Spiral Tribe rave and is almost as eventful. Although it's basically a slippery dance tune, it has strong crossover potential.
That Finitribe might have a hit single on their hands is not so much of a shock as the fact they actually deserve it. I can't think what they'll wear on "Top Of The Pops".