Fine China was a band that never really made it too far, even by underground standards. That’s a shame, because I’ve liked just about everything that they put out. They started out by releasing a couple EP’s on Velvet Blue Music in the late 90s. They teamed up with Ronnie Martin pretty early on, and he produced most of their early stuff. That’s how I came to find them around 2001, as I was/am a hungry fan for all of Ronnie’s projects.
“When the World Sings” was their first full album. I bought it brand new at the Christian bookstore downtown. They had a kiosk where you could scan the barcode on any CD and listen to a preview. I scoured many of prospective CD that way. The album is solid indie pop with a good measure of drum machine beats and some background synths, helping to support the guitar-centric band. I know it’s not for everyone, but I’ve always liked the album. I recently came across this blog post, which had a significantly-negative take on Ronnie’s contributions to Fine China. That author seemed to think that Fine China was a great band except for the times that Ronnie belched his production synth filth all over the band’s innocent guitars. This guy believed that Fine China was a great band until Ronnie messed them up. To each his own, but I disagree.
Anyway, in honor of the band here are two songs off their first single, from 1996. This contains the original acoustic version of “Fine China”, which Ronnie’s Joy Electric remixed. I picked it up ages ago and I’ve barely ever seen it around since. I don’t think they’ll mind spreading a little of the wealth. As I listened to “In the Winter” again tonight, I realized that Fine China was part and parcel with Ronnie’s synth stuff from pretty much the beginning. So take that, negative blog guy! Also, your three strikes analogy totally doesn’t work.
Until then, here is Fine China’s “The Beautiful”: