Top positive review
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This is Finch for 2005 - With the album you never expected..
on 22 July 2005
Finch's first album was, in many respects a benchmark at it's time of release, however their 'commercial' emo sounds have been reproduce by so many other bands since then, thus making the follow up to 'What it is to burn' a tricky prospect - Would their sound appear as fresh in such an over-saturated market? It seems every other new band is 'emo' these days, so much so I for one have no clue what emo is any more. So how were Finch ever going to stay ahead of the game & create an album to compete with the success of their debut?
The answer, it would appear, was to record one of the most original, innovative & daring albums I've heard since the demise of Faih No More circa 1997. Gone are the emo-pop overtones, forgotten are the overly pop sounding melodies & departed are the emo-by-numbers approach to success - Welcome to 'Say hello to sunshine'. From the opening anthem "Insomniatic meat" to end tune "Gak 2" the album never relents, attacking your ear drums with pounding rythmns, inspired & intricate riffs, and some of the best vocals around - Nathan Barcalow is making a strong case for one of the strongest & versatile vocalists around at the moment. The choruses are strong & singable without sounding too 'Pop-esque', the reflective, darker vocals are delivered with real passion, and the screams are nothing short of inspired.
Musically, you would be forgiven for forgetting that 'What it is to burn' was written by the same band that prodcued this masterpiece - there are obvious parallels drawn between Finch and Faith No More, least of all for the sheer musical innovation , but there are also moments in the choruses where they come across like the 'Foo Fighters' with simliar hooks & unexpected chord progressions. Despite being a lengthy album with a total of 15 tracks at no point does the record let up, in fact some of the stronger (& more erratic) songs are in the latter stages of this CD. Seems that Finch have no idea what the term 'Album filler' means; it's refreshing to hear an album that has no obvious weak songs. This is honest rock/metal at it's best - no gimmicks, no set formula, just great music.
It's hard not to make the obvious Faith No More comparison - although Finch don't actually SOUND like them. The simliarities lie more in their want to create something a bit different & also how they followed up their respective debut albums.After 'The real thing' FNM were the talk of the musical press, they had the world at their feet & 'Funk Metal' was a sound that could cement their fame and fortune - so not wanting to be labelled, they created 'Angel dust' which totally destroyed that 'Funk Metal' label & started them on a journey of creativity that inspired a new wave of music through the mid to late 90's. Finch, simliarly with a seminal debut album, had a fresh 'winning formula' sound at it's time of release, they probably could have made a career from remaking the album in a new package - Instead they dared to create a new sound all of tehir own making, for which they should be commended.
So the big question... Will this album appeal to Finch fans? In my opinion - possibly not. But I think for every 1 dimensional emo kid that labels the album 'not as good as the first album' because it doesn't sound like the first album they'll win the respect & admiration of someone with a wider taste in music & ultimately find that there is an audience that wants to hear something original & exciting. And just maybe they can create a new reputation as one of the most promising bands for the new millenium.
So bring on the next albumm - and if their sound progresses even half as much as it did between the first 2 albums I can see them forging a reputation as one of the most original & inspiring bands of our time.