Hometown: Boise, ID
Label: Tender Loving Empire
Sounds Like: Built to Spill, Jared Mees & The Grown Children, Broken Social Scene, Talking Heads, The Pixies
Dynamic, quirky and highly energetic indie rock trio Finn Riggins has made a name for itself around the West and the greater US as road warriors from the oft-overlooked state of Idaho over the last several years. Since the release of their debut album A SOLDIER, A SAINT, AN OCEAN EXPLORER on Portland’s beloved mom-and-pop label Tender Loving Empire in 2007, they have averaged close to 200 shows a year in 43 states — including a massive 80-day tour around the entire perimeter of the US in the Spring of 2010. Most of this touring has been on the backs of their DIY ethic and wide open approach to the changing music industry. In 2009 and 2010 they played three different support tours with fellow Idahoans Built To Spill while supporting their sophomore album VS WILDERNESS (Tender Loving Empire).
The collaborative brainchild of three music school graduates from the University of Idaho — Cameron Bouiss, Eric Gilbert and Lisa Simpson — Finn Riggins has always been a tough entity for the music industry to pin down. Their genre-defying approach to rock-n-roll has yielded a long stream of varied explanations for their sound over the years — experimental pop, prog-pop, post-punk post-epic 70s rock, synth-driven indie rock, and so on. One consistent thread through most of the press raves over the years has been the fact that Finn Riggins’ sound is unique and fresh and not adhering to any particular trend, all while being accessible through pop-hooks and an incredibly well executed and fun live show.
Since relocating to Boise, ID in early 2009 from the small mountain town of Hailey, ID at the foot of the Pioneer Mountain Range, Finn Riggins have become key players in the young music and art scene of Idaho’s largest population center. They took their first extended break from touring in 2011 to further connect with their local scene and focus on writing and creating anew. In a November 2011 NYLON feature on the Boise scene Chad Dryden of The Record Exchange is quoted confirming the band, “injected much-needed life into the scene.” During this time Eric Gilbert helped develop Treefort Music Fest – a festival geared toward promoting the Boise scene and raising money for independent station Radio Boise, the first to support local artists in decades. 2012 was the festival’s inaugural year and was a great success.
New Finn Riggins EP BENCHWARMERS will be released by Tender Loving Empire on limited edition 10″ red vinyl for Record Store Day on April 21st, 2012.
“if you need a break from your ho-hum existence at any point and want to listen to some cleverly crafted and sweetly engineered music that is still so full of life, vigor and originality, then this is it.”
Vic Caretti - Loudvine
“This is infectious, relentless and the only performance/album I’m reviewing in several years that’s a 7 out of 7”
Zaph Mann - Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)
“They have become absolute masters of their craft...the finest of modern American music—informed by those who broke the ground for genre cross pollination, but that smacks of nothing that has come before it.”
Wayne Callahan - lagrandelife.com
"But the best band of the day (CMJ Music Marathon 2008 NYC, NY) was Hailey, Idaho-based Finn Riggins, a guitar, synth and drum combo that plays pulsating, anxious post-punk that has an arrestingly ramshackle quality to it... labyrinthine songwriting and epic, often ecstatically-shouted choruses."
Armin Rosen - Impose Magazine (New York City)
“It’s indie rock as it should be: knotty, quirky, and wildly confident.”
Doug Wallen - San Francisco Weekly
“It (Vs Wilderness) kicks the asses of indie rockers that thought they had it all figured out”
Andrew Framstead - Synthesis Magazine
“joyfully eccentric indie-pop workouts that juxtapose XTC, Blondie and the Poster Children... the band’s calculated harmonies and impressive poly-rhythms are irreverent and beautiful, as are the group’s quirky lyrics.”
Adam Perry - Boulder Weekly
“This is a band alive, awake and ready to pursue risky territory.”
Reyan Ali - City Weekly
“Part Sleater-Kinney/Yeah Yeah Yeahs, part second-wave 70s prog-rockers such as Camel or Eloy, Finn Riggins delivered a set that was as much blissful, porntastic keys and polyrhythmic drumming as it was the punkrockers that had so much disdain for such music.”
Jake Tenpas - Corvallis Gazette-Times (Night Rider blog)
“Soaring and incredibly catchy...the work of an impeccably tight band.”
Michael Mannheimer - Willamette Week
“with songs that weave together jubilant pop music, classical structure and an experimental edge. Artistically ambitious and playful, Vs. Wilderness hooks you with infectious melodies but keeps your attention with its imaginative songwriting.”
Tom Murphy - Denver Westword
"Most memorable performance (MFNW 2008 Portland, OR): Finn Riggins. The peak. They shocked and stunned: Truly amazing, like a locomotive storming into a barn. ...in years to come this could be the band you wish you were on the front wave of."
Zaph Mann - http://opbmusic.org/blog/entries
“Truth be told, 'A President, A Pacifist, An Auto Restorer' is a fitting end for Finn Riggins’s A SOLDIER, A SAINT, AN OCEAN EXPLORER, as the album is itself a strange amalgam of oddball rhythms, uncommon chord progressions, head-banging pop-rock grit, and intelligent yet accessible songwriting.”
Tom Korp - Beatbots Audio Reviews (Baltimore, MD)
“With every U-turn and digression they emanate a distinct attitude of felicity and fun. They seem to be saying, 'Come and play. Our parents are gone for the weekend and we have the whole house to ourselves.”