(Bicycle Music Company)
Yes it’s been five years since Finger Eleven’s musical direction took a severe left turn with their studio-effects heavy `Life Turns Electric’ release but Finger Eleven fans will be elated to hear the Burlington, Ontario boys have reverted back to their classic rock influences with new opus `Five Crooked Lines’.
Recorded in Nashville late last year under the direction of producer Dave Cobb, with the 12 tracks laid down in just 11 days, Finger Eleven have discovered when it comes to laying down tracks, less equals more. As they thrash into “Gods of Speed”, vocalist Scott Anderson, lead guitarist James Black, rhythm guitarist Rick Jackett and bassist Sean Anderson seem to have rediscovered their classic rock roots with a track that seems to meld early Zeppelin with early Black Sabbath. There is even a few doses of Prog Rock with their Pink Floyd-inspired, seven-minute opus titled “Come On Oblivion” and the five-minute arrangement of “Lost In Words” which comes across like a King Crimson outtake.
Yet, although Finger Eleven seem to have re-discovered their classic rock muse, there’s a definite immediacy about the production and the drumming of Nashville studio session player, Chris Powell helps fuel freshness in the arrangements.
Certainly the band exhibits their versatility by tackling mid-tempo arrangements like the sinister “Criminal”, the go-for-the-jugular feel of “Save Your Breath” and even the more commercial presentation of “Wolves and Doors” which serves as the band’s debut single from this record.
Yes the band may have spent five years trying to figure out what their fans already knew, “there’s nothing wrong with capturing the essence of classic rock providing you present it with some form of modern sensibility. And judging by their current 28-date tour, 26 of them in the United States, Finger Eleven are still as popular if not more so than they are in their native Canada. And judging by the renaissance being currently undertaken by the likes of Our Lady Peace, Big Wreck and The Tea Party, Finger Eleven’s timing for a return could not be more spot on.
Rating: “Come On Oblivion”, “Save Your Breath”, “Wolves and Doors”
Photo BY Dustin Rabin.
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