Teaming up with Finn Riggins

Boise rock trio knocks out sophomore release


If you didn't know Finn Riggins' Cameron Bouiss, Eric Gilbert and Lisa Simpson before now, the band's raucous sophomore release Vs. Wilderness (Tender Loving Empire) slated to hit shelves on Tuesday, Oct. 13, may make them impossible to ignore.

The trio employs the keyboard, guitars and drums inherent in their brand of post-punk/indie/progressive rock. But throw in steel drums, odd time signatures, repetition and lyrics that stem from things like a movie about Salvador Dali and a simple genre designation has to be chucked out the window.

Always a little outside the envelope, when Finn Riggins originally formed in 2006, the name of the band was Finn Riggins (). The punctuation was intentional. Gilbert told BW in a 2007 interview that the band's name followed the same impetus behind the title of their 2007 debut album, A Soldier, A Saint, An Ocean Explorer. It was all a play on a "concept of multiple characters," but all the parentheses served to do was confuse people.

Any confusion about Finn Riggins melted like a spring thaw when the trio moved their homebase from Hailey to Boise in January.

"Even before we moved here, we always considered ourselves from the Boise music scene," Gilbert said. "But it's been so nice since moving here that we're really a part of it. We were always playing shows here but we never got to go to any," he said, laughing.

They bounced right out of new living quarters, into a van and onto an epic touring schedule that had them seeing more miles of United States pavement than the federal highway commission. But an invitation to be on the Rotating Tongues II compilation CD for which all the participating bands had to write and record two previously unrecorded songs, kickstarted not only a stronger connection with the other Boise musicians/bands on the CD, but also a momentum to start recording their own new album.

The title Vs. Wilderness comes from the band having to explain Boise and Idaho to Finn Riggins fans in far away cities. It also encapsulates the wild ebullience that courses through the album as well. It may also symbolize their future successes, which will be marked by the fact that the band has a say in them.

"We're not 18-year-olds with stars in our eyes anymore," Simpson said. "We realize that we have a say. You don't have to sign your life away to some major label and a crappy contract to get what you want out of a career [in music]. It is possible."

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