It's been three long years since fans of this band had a taste of anything in their studio collection. Since What It Is To Burn
came out, fans have either grown tired of waiting for the new album, or sat on the edge of their seats waiting for June 8th. Many people have even abandoned this band as being a major player in the pop-punk genre, but Finch are back with their sophomore album to try and prove the people they are worthy of being in our CD collections once more
Insomniatic Meat - 8/10
We start off with a weird scratching sound and a drumroll, then a nice riff to lead us into the song. Already, this feels new and different. From the second Nate sings "Oh my God, I think I'm blind!", you know this is going to be good. The riffs in this song are really played and very original for the pop-punk genre, and Nate's singing changes tone and tempo all throughout the song. He sings quietly, he sings loud, he even screams his heart out near the end. And the end, oh my God. This is going to be such a crowd-pleaser at shows, everyone screaming out "This is the worst thing that you have ever done!" over and over with Nate. In other words, this is a perfect opener for the album
Revelation: Song - 8/10
A big change in tempo now as this song has started off with a small drumroll, and leads into the heavily distorted song. It isn't anything special on it's own, but the way it's played is certainly amazing for Finch. The chord structure is very simple, the drumming is your standard pop-punky style and Nate's singing is almost like he's shouting. Where this song picks up is the bridge. A sudden change in tempo as the song gets quiet, Nate's vocals get very deep it's scary. Then the breakdown, and Nate and Randy scream in time. It's amazing, and I can barely make out what they say. But it's easily my favourite part of the song.
Brother Bleed Brother - 7/10
This song was the first major new song to be publicized, and with reason too. We begin with a rather dark and heavy riff, leading to a palm muted verse. Nate again sounds like he's shouting, but it sounds amazing over the music. A little quiet, clean guitar melody, and it's into the chorus again with distortion and all. The best part of this song is the breakdown, where everything slows down and instruments get taken away one by one until it just stops... and then goes into the chorus. Amazing song here by Finch.
A Piece Of Mind - 7/10
The first real pop-punky sounding song on the album, and maybe the only one too. This is the closest you are going to get to What It Is To Burn
, it's got a very punky feel to it. The rhythm is simple, and Nate's singing is nothing too special. I don't really think this fits in well with the rest of the album to be honest, but it's a good song. It loses energy in some places, but picks up again near the end. Like I said, nothing special, but worth a listen.
Ink - 9/10
Thank you Finch for bringing us something magic and special after the previous "OK" songs. Very technical song we have here, the intro is amazing on it's own in my opinion. And Nate's vocals in this song are as if they are taken straight from a Gatsby's American Dream song. Starts of deep and dark, then gradually builds up into full-out shouting in the chorus. The brdige is a bit calmer, but builds up again and the momentum shifts when the chorus is played again. Although this song does sound quite radio-friendly, it is a standout song on the album
Fireflies - 8/10
A much darker song is presented right after that special track, and it's done well once again. The music starts off very eerie with an over-distorted bass-riff, then the full band comes in. Nate's singing is done quite deep again, and the riffs used are very odd, especially in the lead-up to the chorus. The chorus is your standard pop-punk song, I admit that. But it's so catchy to be singing "Fireflies illuminate your eyes". The breakdown sounds similar to the one in "Ink", but it's made better with Nate's distorted vocals. A have to say they, I had the demo of this song and they took out the harmonics, something I think made the song. If they had them, this would be a 9/10. Sadly they aren't, but it's still a great song.
Hopeless Host - 5/10
This is where the album seems to lose momentum. This song is the fastest yet on the album, and it still sticks with that dark and creepy sound. To be honest, I don't think it works at this speed. The riffs sound as if they were taken straight out of a horror movie, and Nate's singing is nothing. I really like the drumming in this song actually, very fast and upbeat which I always love. The breakdown is quite interesting, it uses piano and a clean guitar to completely take you away from the song. I rather like that part, which is the only reason this is getting a 5/10.
Reduced To Teeth - 4/10
I can't say I cared much for this song either. The riffs are quite bland and sound repeated from every other song on the album, and Nate's vocals are boring and add nothing special to this song. The breakdown is another quiet part, but it doesn't have the same effect as "Hopeless Host", and sadly the song just doesn't interest me. Nothing more to say, sorry guys
A Man Alone - 6/10
Another punky intro with heavy guitars and fast drumming, which leads into such a calm song. The clean rhythm is a bit bland again, not really adding much to the song, and Nate's singing is actually singing this time round. The chorus is one of my favourites actually, a guilty pleasure if you will. The lyrics are pretty creepy and very hate-fueled, and Nate starts screaming out as loud as he can. I must admit, this song has it's moments. It's like a half pop-punk song, half jazzy song inbred into each other. I suppose you either love it or you hate it, and I'm leaning to the latter side.
Miro - 8/10
Oh my God, what a song. We start out with another heavy riff to lead us into the song. The tempo and beats in this song are amazing. The verses are palm muted very fast and clean, and Nate's vocals sound melodic over the top of it. This then leads into the chorus, something I'd expect to be taken from What It Is To Burn
. It does sound generic, but that doesn't hurt every once in a while. The bridge is another excellent part of the album, and pretty much bumped this song up to 8/10. I do think this song is misplaced though, after the lack of good songs beforehand.
Ravenous - 9/10
This was the song I wanted to hear mastered when I had the demos, and I must say that they ruined it slightly. It doesn't have that same raw feel from the demo. But then again, they did a good job trying. The tempo of this song is crazy fast, and the riffs are the weirdest and darkest on the album I think. Something that really gives it that edge is Nate's over-sung vocals in the pre-chorus. Almost SOAD-like, they sound so gimmicky. It's a real shame this is one of the shortest songs on the album, because it's certainly one of my favourites.
Bitemarks And Bloodstains - 7/10
The single, so it's bound to be radio-friendly, right? Not quite. It has that new Finch feel to it, without being to hard-hitting and raw as the other songs. It's made up the same way as every other Finch song, and is well played and sung, but it has that generic feel to the song. The music is fantastic I think, and the only thing that sets it back is the amount of effects used in this song. The bridge is the best part, heating Nate scream out as loud as he can "Blood lust, blood lust, for this girl! Blood loss, blood loss, for this boy!" is amazing.
The Casket Of Roderic Usher - 9/10
Say Hello To Sunshine's
attempt at another "Project Mayhem". This is pure spaz-core, simple as that. This song could have The Blood Brothers stamped on the top and it would be hard to tell the difference. The guitar riffs are so crazy, always changing, and Nate's singing is superb. His voice goes so high in this song, I wonder how the hell he sung it! It's a real shame this song is only 1:50, as it's a definate highlight of the album in terms of how much Finch have matured in playing music. Overall, Finch's attempt at spazzing out was a success and is filled full of raw emotion and energy.
Dreams Of Psicocybin - 8/10
We begin with the sounds of a man doing karate or something for 30 seconds or so, just constantly doing the sounds as if he's kicking something. The drum-roll sets off, then the guitars, and then full music. I can't really describe this song. It's very experimental for Finch. Nate's vocals are barely able to make out, and Randy's backing vocals are too quiet. The bridge has that same creepy feel nearly every song on this album, and it's certainly different. The piano is used again, and oddly at that. It gets a bit pop-punkier near the end, and finishes at a complete halt.
Overall, I liked this album a lot. It trails off near the middle, but picks up more near the end. It is well crafted, and considering the circumstances, Finch have done a great job with this album. Granted, a lot of the songs are made up of the same verse/chorus/verse/choruse/bridge/chorus structure, but Finch have redefined that with this album. Unlike Taking Back Sunday and The Used who stuck with their styles and sadly feel where they needed new ideas, Finch took a chance and changed their sound to a much darker feel, and I think it's paid off for the quintet
The Casket Of Roderic Usher