Words El Jefe.
I’d never heard of Finch prior to this landing in my inbox, so as always, someone new to check out is always a good thing. They’ve had a fairly chequered history, splitting up a couple of times and in this case a one-off reformation that morphed into a new LP. Originally playing under the moniker Numb, and mistakenly labeled a Deftones cover band, a misquote I understand the band has now come to hate, so I won’t mention it. With the core of Nate Barcalow (vox), Alex Linares (rhythm guitar) Randy Strohmeyer (lead guitar/backing vox) being the only constant members, and a couple of drummers and bass players coming and going along the way, over the years they have produced several LP’s and EP’s.
Technically, the playing is great, strong and quite inventive. One downside to the sound is Nate’s clean vocals, which I found grating for the most part. They’re definitely not all bad; he has a great blood-curdling scream, which was much more to my taste. The songs on Back To Oblivion are mostly pretty good, with a faintly commercial take on heavy rock, and layers of guitars which may be a just a tad too reliant on effects. Lots of switching between clean and dirty for dynamic effect too.
Opening with title track Back to Oblivion, with its jangly, melodic intro and catchy chorus seem to set the scene for the rest of the record.
Further From The Few was one I particularly dug, with the aforementioned blood-curdling scream being put to good use.
The moody and haunting Inferium has some stylish violin thrown in for good measure as it creeps towards the crest of the tidal wave that swamps it in the end.
Clearly, they’ve taken their time creating this new LP, but to my ears it seems to sit between the mainstream and the underground market; too commercial and “lightweight” to appeal to heavy rock fans, but too heavy to be radio friendly. While overall, Back To Oblivion is quite a good record, I can’t shake the feeling that they’re keeping their eyes on a bigger prize rather than just making the record that they want to make. Instead, they seem to be looking at a more mainstream path. Rarely a good motivation in my opinion, as money as creative impetus would seem to be at odds with true creativity.