ALBUM: Finch – Back To Oblivion ★★★☆☆

Finch BTOArtist: Finch

Album: Back To Oblivion

Release Date: 26/09/14

Label: Razor & Tie Recordings

Finch first burst onto the scene some 12 years ago with the sensational record What It Is To Burn that has stood the test of time, and was duly celebrated with anniversary shows. These shows were supposed to be just a one time thing, but was the catalyst for the band deciding to give it another go. Writing sessions took place as the California 5 piece regrouped and what became of those sessions was Back To Oblivion. Can they reach the heights and glory of former years?

The title track opens the record and is a punchy and energetic affair that acts as a rally cry to signal that Finch are back and mean business. They may have been away for a fair few years but straight away we’re reminded the band can write enormous choruses and hooks. ‘Anywhere But Here’ crackles through the speakers with an overly distorted and jangly guitar riff, before moving into more mellow and toned down verse sections that explode into choruses that aren’t as effective as the band would’ve hoped for. ‘Further From The Few’ injects some pace into the record and lets vocalist Nate Barcalow act as ringleader to draw your attention in. Three different tracks to start the comeback, but all three are very straight forward and use a similar formula throughout.

A sombre and sobering start to ‘Murder Me’ relaxes before the band start to build towards a cathartic release of emotions from Nate Barcalow, accompanied by strings which adds a mature and intriguing element to Finch’s sound. ‘Picasso Trigger’ takes a note out of Deftones book with soft and atmospheric vocals over the top of a soundtrack that wouldn’t be out of place in a Lower Than Atlantis b sides collection. Should make for a fairly memorable track, but doesn’t do much to warrant hitting the repeat button anytime soon. ‘Play Dead’ has a tense and slow building atmosphere that leads into rage induced vocals also accompanied by mild screams, whilst ‘Two Guns To The Temple’ starts as a punk influenced number that combines the characteristics that make up the scene the band were in during their peak in the early noughties.

‘The Great Divide’, ‘Us & Them’ and ‘Tarot’ come and go without leaving much of a lasting impression before the album heads into the final straight with arguably the two best tracks on the album. ‘Inferium’ is a beautiful song with soft instrumentation and captivating vocals, a wonderful melody and strings that add a stunning layer to proceedings. ‘New Wave’ follows on in similar vain with an added delicacy. A gentle acoustic guitar helps to bring this album to a close with an elongated fade out and atmospherics.

To sum it all up, is Finch’s comeback a success? Yes and no. It’s a solid selection of songs but there isn’t anything new that we haven’t heard from the time the band went on hiatus to their return from other artists. The final two songs definitely highlight ideas that Finch should work on in the future. Right now fans of the band will be happy with the return of Finch, but their next album is going to be the one that decides if there is still a place in our world for them.