Review Summary: Instead of another drone in the genre, Finch's 2nd full-length, Say Hello To Sunshine, is an original and inauspicious "f*** you" to their old sound and it just so happens to be their best record to date.
Through all of the successes Finch were able to muster for their commonplace debut, What It Is To Burn
, they seemed to have a choice to make, a subconscious fork in the road: to keep the same bewildered fans who would eat up another album full of repetitive chords and derivative post-hardcore/pop-punk dynamics, or make a giant shift that would alienate some fans yet increase their artistic merit. Finch sought after the latter and it was the best decision they could have made. Instead of another drone in the genre, Finch's 2nd full-length, Say Hello To Sunshine
, was an original and inauspicious "f*** you" to their old sound and it just so happens to be their best record to date.
The music on Say Hello...
is more sinister, vibrant, and packs way more of a punch than their debut. They did away with conventional means and instead turned to a dissonant thrill ride for a violent carnival. Opening track "Insomniatic Meat" immediately begins with what sounds like a creepy voice, muffled and afraid. The chorus reaches for new highs from the band, with Nate Barcalow belting out "tie me to a chair/subconsiously surrendering/now that I'm awake/it's hard for me to make believe"
. It's urgent in its grandiose feeling and the lyrics show that this isn't your teen angst driven band anymore; this is authentic post-hardcore. "Revelation: Song" keeps the energy flowing with a riff that is much more complex and overall better than anything on What It Is To Burn
, with more of the same matured and meloncholic lyrics clamored by Barcalow. "Ink" is another standout; twangy guitars and off putting time signatures over a surprisingly catchy song really gives the album variety.
The album generally continues on in the same vein yet with some excellent songwriting variations thrown into the mix. "Hopeless Host" features one of the best bridges of Finch's career; the song starts out in typical Say Hello...
fashion until the music seems to die down except for a slow drum beat. A wonderful bassline then appears only to be followed by scattered guitar noises and ethereal lyrics like "focused on the fire/burning virus in me/hopeless host hooked to a wire keeping me/focused on the fire/burning virus that is me"
. The effect is astounding and it's a nice cool-off during the strange assault of Say Hello To Sunshine
. "Reduced To Teeth" also expands upon Finch's new desire to differentiate their songwriting. While starting out in a stereotypical verse/build up/ chorus and repeat, the song explodes into something entirely different towards the 2nd half of the song which gives it an epic feel.
All of this can't really prepare you for "Miro", however, the band's best song to date. One of the stranger tracks on an already strange album, "Miro" twists and turns through disharmonic rifs and rhythm changes until a furious chorus comes in and knocks your socks off. Barcalows' yells here are some of the best and most emotionally packed he has done throughout an already decent career. The song then slowly dies down with an impressive bridge that features some psychadelic guitar licks until the song slowly builds back up into its opus of an ending: "frame by frame we begin to change/skeletons and robot brains/she found a book that writes itself/that plays it all upon a stage/over and over again/where is the end?"
seems to lyrically bridge the gap between their angsty, lost-love roots and this new sense of inspiration. The chord progressions through this component are fabulous and keep you on the edge of your seat.
I will always have respect for a band that is able to change so dramatically while never sacrificing quality. Their evolution from just another band to something that has its own identity and artistic merit is an inspiring journey for anyone looking to make original music. Hopefully they do not try to please fans of old and new and make an album that is half What It Is To Burn
and half Say Hello To Sunshine
. Hopefully they continue on this new path Say Hello...
has set for them and dive even deeper into the canyons of their minds. Hopefully.