Finch received a heap of attention with their debut release What It Is To Burn.
Not too much longer, at venues and high schools, their merchandise had caught like wildfire and it was practically everywhere. What turned my cheek into finally submitting to the hype is still a bit of a mystery, but I gave in. The contents inside though, were great at first listen. It was a catchy pop-punk album, but at the same time, had that post hardcore sound that made it a little unique. It did not take much longer to find out that was a load of crap answer.
At times, I feel it is almost an identity crisis with Finch. It seems throughout the album they are switching styles, between accessible to girls who could careless about their potential talent and what they want to be at heart with displaying a glimpse of their talent. A perfect example would the first two tracks, “New Beginnings” and “Letters to You.” The lyrics are cute and appetizing, but instrumentally it is simply dull. The riffs are boring and the drumming provides little room for a thrill of a good time. A chorus ringing the tune of ‘I want you to know that, I miss you, I miss you so’ that it is just the perfect little sing-a-long tune for teenage girls. On the contrary, “Grey Matter” and “Project Mayhem” are songs that rather aspire to what Finch want out of their musical careers. The songs are energetic and provide a different, more post-hardcore atmosphere. Yes, Daryl Palumbo guest sings in both tracks, but there is just so much more energy in both tracks, while maintaining their composer from previous songs. The guitar riffs are actually constructed well, while nothing too technically insane. “Project Mayhem” even lives up to its name with just an overall aggressive song, with some varied drumming and lively guitar work.
Unfortunately, the album does not maintain the liveliness. “Three Simple Words,” “Post Script,” and “Awake” are a little too generic for my liking. They all have their moments of assertiveness, but the songs are weak in keeping the album exciting. Even so, they still make songs that make them who they are, without sounding like what could be a GlassJAw song. “Untitled” and “Ender” are both songs that are attention grabbers. “Untitled” had the post-hardcore edge while “Ender” is an emotional and fitting end to the album. The riffs are explosive at times with powerful drumming during “Untitled” and the vocals are great without being too cheesy. “Ender” is nothing like that at first with its somber introduction that is beautiful in its own regard. A calm song that slowly builds and builds until it erupts shortly after the three minute mark and continues to evolve with piano chiming in and adding a layer to the music played.
Finch’s What It Is To Burn
turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, after all, it is hard to live up to such hype. There are times when the album shines but after a while, it is just all so contrived. Even so, most debuts tend to be what a band builds off and they completely revamped their sound for their next album, which turned out to be their last. It is unfortunate that as quickly as they found out their sound, and how they wanted to be, they broke up. This album will probably maintain its flavor for many for years to come, and it will come up in mixes and people will say ‘hey I remember this song!’ However, it is just an average record trying too hard for an unknown identity.