Review: Growing Fins EP ‘Oakcrest’

R. Santos

I’m going to preface this review with a story…

It was mid afternoon on May 27, 2016 and I was physically destroyed and mentally destroyed after seeing Gulfer, Jeff Rosenstock and Pup the night before and was thinking about skipping the Tiny Moving Parts show, but then I remembered my first time seeing them. They were one of the first “skramz” band I saw my freshman year of high school. I remembered how much I loved the contrast between shouted vocals and math rock-esque guitars and decided to go the show anyways and I’m glad I did. Not only did Tiny Moving Parts deliver, but more importantly I was introduced to an incredible local band who played a blend of emo math/rock.
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That band is Growing Fins and here’s a review of their long awaited EP ‘Oakcrest.’ For me this EP is a hypothetical question, What if William Bonney or Midwest Pen Pals covered a song from We Were Promised Jetpack’s debut record?

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The answer is, it’s fucking incredible. ‘Oakcrest’ is 3 songs of pure emo goodness. The interplay between guitarists Connor and Ben dance freely around a foundation of Keenan’s drumming and Robert’s bass playing. The We Were Promised Jetpacks comparison earlier came from their tendencies to repeat several short phrases throughout a song instead of a traditional verse and chorus structure. That writing style is present here and works fucking great.

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The fact that all 4 members of Growing Fins sing during the songs builds a thunderous atmosphere that can knock you on your ass when it’s called for and then effortlessly transition to quiet whispers that can sting the listener at their most vulnerable introspective moments (in a good way). The delivery of the vocals is reminiscent of acts like Midwest pen Pals, William Bonney and Merchant Ships. The lyrics are also exceptional, they tell stories with an almost Bukowski-esque parataxis.

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Anyway, this thing is fucking great so don’t listen to me cause I’m really high and probably full of shit, but please set aside 11 minutes of your day and give this EP a shot. Check out Growing Fins play EP track, Pizza Elbow live at their EP release show on Saturday!

Please note that since the recording of the EP, Growing Fins has with gone a lineup change: Connor Woolridge on guitar/vocals, Ben Fukuzawa on guitar/vocals, Emily Jacklin on bass/vocals, and Keenan Howard on drums/vocals.

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