Review Summary: An Obituary:
Would it be strange to call my relationship with Finch a romance? Or even just ‘a relationship?’ Probably. But under the circumstances, it just feels right. Epilogue
, see, marks the end of a band whose path spanned singularly across of musical terrain of magnificent – and sometimes unsteady – proportions. And what an odd, sad end. Two songs – the briefest of glimpses into what may have shaped up to be the album that would have finally vindicated a band that seemed mired, from day one, in a struggle for identity. A struggle it seems, that ended exactly on those terms: “Finch was… a tense balancing act on a loose wire. [And] it’s become obvious to all of us that the thing that made Finch such a special band to be in, was also the key ingredient that was tearing us apart”. Hence, Epilogue
But this hardly feels like closure. After all, for those who’ve followed the band from their 2002 angsty pop-punk debut What It Is To Burn
, Finch always seemed to be one step too late. Our very own Ryan Flatley dismissed that particular album as an identity crisis pressed into recording, and he wasn’t far wrong. Yet tucked in between song titles like “Letters to You” and “Stay With Me” were glimpses of a band that had it in them to go beyond another bunch taking shape in line with the My Chemical Romance/The Used crew (both of whom released their very own woe-is-me debuts in the same year) whom were more or less capturing the zeitgeist of early high school that year. And by the time 2005’s fantastic Say Hello To Sunshine
was released, post-hardcore, the genre from which the band were obviously taking their cues from, was already beginning to move beyond blisteringly catchy vein in which SHTS
was rooted in, and onto more experimental grounds - Thrice’s Vheissu
marking the beginning of that trend.
So when Finch dropped their self-titled EP three years later, it seemed like another chance to recoup that loss – one they missed. Writes another one of our own: “What we have here is a watered down EP full of “almosts” and “not-quites”. One step behind, again. And when fucking finally
it seemed like Finch were ready to make good again, the fuck
s had to break up. Excuse the anger; it comes from love, truly. For while this history was taking place, there I
was, keeping Finch at arms length, like a child too scared to tell the girl he likes that he does. But there was a good reason for that too, ‘cause Finch were, in a way, my first musical kiss. While everyone was rocking to Slipknot and Eminem (the more sensitive ones to Blink-182), I had Finch. And I couldn’t tell anyone because telling someone you liked a band that wasn’t
, say, Blink-182, was the equivalent of social suicide back then. Especially one with ‘screamy’ vocals. (‘Shouty’ ones were OK).
Hence a sort of unrequited love – on both ends. Me, too scared to admit to liking the band; Finch too messy to get their act in gear and finally make an album that would individuate them. And we grew together, me and Finch, with me delving into depths of hardcore and black metal while looking back to the band which started it all, having ‘grown out of that sort of music’ and still keeping them at arms length. But you don’t forget a first kiss. Which brings me back to Epilogue
, less a post-script than a letter from the dead. And what a letter it is! - Steeped in Finch’s now whirlwind brand of zig zag melodies and wide open choruses, blending a passion and precision up there with any contemporary playing today. This
is the Finch I was waiting to declare my love to, one that can be catchy and dissonant at the same time, and most of all – singular. Never have the band played with such dynamism, and never has Nate Barcalow’s voice shone like it has here. What a damn shame.
Reads the inscription on their ‘tombstone’: “Died tragically rescuing our fans from the wreckage of a destroyed sinking battleship”. I guess.