Finch EP

Written by: PP on 23/08/2008 03:22:06

You can count me in the camp that didn't particularly enjoy the songs on "Say Hello To Sunshine", the follow up to Finch's amazing debut album "What It Is To Burn", which almost single-handedly jump started the emo/screamo/post-hardcore genres in 2002. I have a feeling that at least some in the band felt the same way, considering their announcement of a hiatus shortly after the release of that album. Expectations were therefore not sky high when the band announced their reunion and plans to record another album, which ended up being the four song EP in question here, the self-titled "Finch EP".

Oh, how wrong we were.

The first song on the EP, "Daylight", begins with incredibly thick static screaming, something along the lines of "BREAK OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT.... OUUUUUUUUUUUUT", easily some of the best primal screaming vocalist Nate Barcalow has delivered to date. You can imagine the song as the future set opener, causing UnderOATH-style chaotic mayhem in the mosh pits throughout the first 25 seconds, before the song cools down to a strange hybrid of Glassjaw and "What It Is To Burn"-era Finch. Nate really sounds a lot like Daryl Palumbo here, while instrumentally the song approaches "Perfection Through Silence" or "New Beginnings" from the band's debut album. The chorus is awesome, instantly memorable with some nice singalong parts, and especially the rough production on Nate's clean vocals helps give the song a passionate feel that was largely missing from their previous album.

"Famine And Disease" follows along the same lines, with slightly rough clean vocals, and just like on "Daylight", the songwriting has vastly improved into a more technically challenging direction, evident in the fact that the song is much more difficult to get into than any past Finch material. The reward in the end is worth it, as especially Nate's crazy screaming parts in later passages of the song are made out of pure gold. He depicts himself as an amazing screamer once again (see debut album for examples), and at least in my opinion, the band should use this asset much more on their next album.

But it's the last two tracks on the EP that underline the artistic development Finch has undergone since "Say Hello To Sunshine". "From Hell" borrows some of its curving riffs from Glassjaw while still keeping the Finch-sound largely intact, only to mix it in with a chorus where Nate sounds strangely resemblant of "Make Yourself"-era Incubus. As for the last song, I don't think anyone was expecting Finch to be a band capable of writing the seven and a half minute mammoth "Chinese Organ Thieves", where the band dives even further into the experimentalist alt rock world of Incubus. Nate further cements his status as one of the most prominent singer/screamers in the post-hardcore world by flawlessly hitting the high notes while having no trouble firing off the scratchy clean vocal here and there. But although his vocal performance is fantastic here, the real spotlight is in the instrumentals, which bear striking similarities to "A Crow Left To The Murder" - this while still being able to sound like an extension of "What It Is To Burn".

So it seems Finch has taken everybody by surprise, especially with the sudden Incubus influence that's really well integrated into the Finch universe. The opening and closing tracks are easily the best songs Finch has written since their debut, and the middle two aren't too bad either, even if they do lack the same element of surprise. Nate re-iterates to the world his position as one of the most worshiped singers out there, while the rest of the band undeniably lives up to their capabilities here. Do not miss the most important post-hardcore release this year.

Download: Daylight
For the fans of: Glassjaw, Incubus, Escaping Autumn
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.07.2008

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