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Fin Dog LIVE @ Pisgah Brewing Co. 8-4-2018

When you hear that Asheville’s Fin Dog quartet is a string band, you expect the typical bluegrass-influenced acoustic roots stuff and ragtime revisionism that groups of that ilk seem to play. But five seconds into the first track on their newest EP, The Man on the Tightrope, you’ll realize that this is a different kettle of fish. They specialize in woozy waltzes, dark, standup-bass-fueled raveups, and ghoulish, thumping set-pieces that are more like haunting short stories than songs. There are also punk-rock style gang-vocals, references to Toys R’ Us, and other general anachronisms that belie the “old-timey music” stereotype. Sure, there are some pleasant, pastoral moments that recall the vintage-clothing wearing group at your favorite brewery, moments where the mandolin and banjo take a sparkling stroll together arm in arm, but in general, the tone is heavy, the songs head into unexpected dark corners, and there’s a wonderfully grimy feel to the proceedings. — Vincent Harris, The Charleston City Paper

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