Based in the same Idaho stomping grounds that spawned Built to Spill, boy-girl-girl trio Finn Riggins has been invited to join that band on tour next month. It’s a huge opportunity for a group that has stuck to the underground in the past, putting out four albums on its own terms. Cameron Bouiss, Lisa Simpson, and Eric Gilbert emerged from the University of Idaho’s music department and have been touring constantly, booking most shows themselves. Their latest recording, Vs. Wilderness, is the third released via Portland collective Tender Loving Empire, and as befitting a lively sound veering around various corners of the indie-rock kingdom, the album includes screen-printed, glow-in-the-dark packaging. Instrumentally, Finn Riggins makes use of accordion, washboard, steel drums, and samplers, with charging synths, guitars, and drums to boot. The band strikes up a rousing refrain with overlapping vocals on the single “Wake (Keep This Town Alive),” and there’s a real urgency to the biting guitar and colliding verses of “Mahoney.” Vs. Wilderness even features a two-part ode to Marie Antoinette that offers the advice, “Don’t lose your head.” It’s indie rock as it should be: knotty, quirky, and wildly confident.
Total Hound and Finn Riggins open for the Don'ts.
Thu., Oct. 22, 9 p.m., 2009