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Album Review: Back To Oblivion by Finch

Cast your mind back to the early 2000s and, if you’re like me, you’ll find seminal post hardcore band Finch synonymous with the era. If you aren’t so lucky you should stop reading right here and get yourself acquainted with the band’s phenomenal debut What It Is To Burn from 2002….. Now that you’re back with the rest of us you’ll be excited to learn of Finch’s return and release of their new album Back To Oblivion earlier in the month.

After disbanding in 2006, getting back together and splitting again the band reformed once again this year announcing that new music would follow. Back To Oblivion is the result and it’s a stunning return. It’s a bit of strange one though, while it’s quite obviously Finch it doesn’t sound anything like What It Is To Burn or 2005’s Say Hello To Sunshine. The former was rammed with big riffs and hooks while the later was a more refined affair. The distinctive vocals of Nate Barcalow are the most obvious clue to the makers of the album. Back To Oblivion brings the band’s sound up to date, there’s little glimpses back to the early 2000s but for the most part it’s relevant and fresh. There’s riffs everywhere, but you’ll find them bathed in a more mature sound. Strikingly the hooks and huge choruses are bigger and stronger than ever before.

It’s full of killer tracks, ‘Murder Me’, ‘The Great Divide’ and ‘Tarot’ are the most instantaneous on first listen. The guitars sound huge, the drums drive and pound throughout while Barcalow’s vocal soars over the top, full to the brim with passion and angst. Give the album another listen and you’ll get hit with a second wave of songs, which now that you’re more familiar with them, will seem like the rock anthems that they are. ‘Picasso Trigger’, ‘Us vs Them’ and ‘Inferium’ maybe don’t hit the mark on your first listen, but you’ll soon come to love them. Repeat this trend with each listen. What you feel didn’t work on previous listens will manage to engrain itself in your head and change your thinking. Before long they will become just one of the many great songs on Back To Oblivion.

There’s a wonderful variety on display, the quieter moment are golden with the band sounding just as powerful and dynamic as when the guitars are at full blast. ‘Play Dead’ has an almost Deftones-esque quality and album closer ‘New Wave’ is just superb.

Many bands like to hold onto what made them popular the first time round and stick to the formula, while Finch haven’t made any radical changes they have modernised and changed their sound so that they can still be considered relevant. In doing so they’ve produced one of the strongest and most compelling rock albums of 2014. You’ll find yourself singing along and jumping around – formidable stuff.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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