BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s not that Liam Finn is trying to compete with his dad. After all, when your father is an accomplished pop provocateur like Neil Finn, there’s no reason to even try. So credit the younger Finn with pursuing his own muse via a series of successful solo ventures that’s yielded two previous long players as well as an additional EP.
With The Nihilist, Finn further explores the unique sonic palette that’s set him apart, a combination of hallucinogenic psych rock and shifting scenarios that occasionally run the risk of keeping listeners at arm’s length. And while a title like The Nihilist might appear an attempt to reject any traditional structure entirely, Finn is wise enough to keep some semblance of order, or at very least, enough to ensure ongoing fascination. The slow roll of “Ocean Emmanuelle” with its cooing harmonies, the ricochet rhythms of “Wild Animal” and the perky Prince-like title track maintain that connection, allowing more experimental songs like “Miracle Glance,” “I,” “Arrow” and “Helen Bonham Carter” to stray well past the parameters via their skittish rhythms and a general impression of impending chaos.
Lack of predictability appears to guide Finn’s pursuits, making for a white knuckled ride all the way.
DOWNLOAD: “Ocean Emmanuelle,” “The Nihilist,” “Wild Animal”