Those of you who love your musical history will recognize how most conversations concerning influential bands invariably turns toward the likes of The Beatles, Velvets and Kraftwerk. I wonder how far we might descend the list before somebody offers The Cure? Without actually making the calculation, I'd guess that The Cure's career-span may well exceeds that of the lauded, aforementioned trio put together? Yet longevity isn't the issue here. My concern is that Robert Smith and his merry men simply never get their props. Certainly not in the written press, derided by your average hack for being either too gloomy or too pop (you can't have it both ways). The Cure have somehow existed outside of both the mainstream and the cool alternative scene for three decades.
As a reviewer I habitually hear the legacy of The Cure, not only in alt-rock and Goth releases but electronica and post-rock also. If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then Smith's dues are paid. Not from poseur critics, but from the legion of fans and a generation of wannabe bands. Feeding Fingers are one such group. Leader Justin Curfman wears his influences so proudly that it would not be disingenuous to say those two little words "The" and "Cure" are emblazoned all across this record.
Now let's be clear. It's the darker side of the Cure I mean. There are no shinny pop gems here, no Just Like Heaven, High or Inbetween Days to lift the gloom on Wound In Wall. All is sorrow. All is grey. Are they copyists? Well it's probably true that the track Feeding Fingers could have been lifted off Faith. Here Smith might find himself reaching for his lawyer's phone number. The rest though is original enough. It isn't all Creepy Crawley. Penultimate track Swallow me recalls early Dead Can Dance while Fireflies make us sick sways toward Depeche Mode territory.
What of the album then? Actually it is pretty good. 14 tracks, over 50 minutes in length and decent quality throughout. Of course they'll never shake off that comparison. I suspect people will buy this because of the associations rather than in spite of them. Doubtless, after this goes to press, I'll receive the ubiquitous letter from the band explaining how they've 'never heard of' The Cure and "can't see the comparison", etc. Lazy journalism then? I'll accept that. All I can say is that it is so clear that it literally blinds alternative viewpoint. Any attempt to skirt the issue would be obtuse to say the least.
It's a fact then. Deal with it and move on. Unless of course you fancy turning Seventeen Seconds, Pornography and Faith into a quartet, in which case look no further than Wound In Wall.