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I have damned myself to hear this out, one more time.
I wrote it down in blood: "Never forget my love",
Faith as endearing as the other side.
I'm on this freight train with derailed suspicion
Writing it all down in blood.

Finch - "Dreams of Psilocybin"

In 2002, Finch exploded onto the music scene with their first major release, "What it is to Burn", starting a whole new genre of music that has since been watered down by the flood of copy cat bands that followed. Then for a while it seemed that they had simply dropped off the face of the Earth, until they eventually returned in mid-2005. But be warned; this ain't Finch 1.0.

Originating from Temecula, California, Finch has retained nearly the same line up since their early days as "Numb". Their rise to fame did not come without struggle. Guitarist Randy Strohmeyer had kept in touch with Drive-Thru Records ever since writing a fan letter to the label years earlier. Through the years he kept in contact with the label, until Finch had been finalized and was ready. They rented a studio and Richard Reines (Drive-Thru Record's co-owner) agreed to hear. Needless to say, they blew his mind, and he immediately called his sister Stefanie (Drive-Thru co-owner) into the studio to give the band a listen. Finch was offered a recording contract on the spot.

Their debut album, the "Falling Into Place" EP, was released on October 9th, 2001 and sold an impressive 6,000 copies by the end of 2001. Even though the album only contained four tracks, it caught on quickly and Finch developed a devoted following. The band went back into the studio to begin working on their first full length record. On March 12, 2002, "What it is to Burn" was released, a 13 track record ranging between emo melodies, punk rhythm, pop hooks, and aggressive breakdowns covering the entire emotional spectrum. If one listens closely they are sure to pick out influences such as the Deftones and Glassjaw. With the release of "What it is to Burn", the emo-core/screamo music scene took off. Their third record, "Say Hello To Sunshine" was released on June 7, 2005, and brought with it a schism in the fan base established by "What it is to Burn".

In the three year hiatus after "What it is to Burn", Finch went through many changes. Fans of their previous release may be disappointed, "Say Hello to Sunshine" is certainly NOT "What it is to Burn Part 2". The music scene had changed substantially in the last three years, and what was new and revolutionary in 2002 was old hat in mid-2005. Not wanting to become stagant, Finch once again released an album unlike anything else on the scene. This release, however, did not come without sacrifice. Six months into recording, the band realized that former drummer Alex Pappas wasn't working with the new direction the other members were trying to go. The band decided to replace him with Marc Allen, drummer from the now defunct math rock band Counterfit, as well as replacing their producer, Mark Trombino, for friend Jason Cupp.

It is a little difficult to describe Finch's sound, partly because of the vast difference between "What it is to Burn" and "Say Hello to Sunshine". Many reviews of the latter have labeled it as math rock, a statement I can't back up not being familiar with that genre. To be sure, the complexity of their music has increased; changing time signatures mid-song, abrupt mood changes, and using the drums as more than simply a time keep device are just a few examples. The typical emo-core screaming is present, but Vocalist Nate Barcalow has significantly increased his vocal range, going from low growls to melodic singing to high pitched screams in a single song. What initially comes to mind in comparison is Serj Tankian of System of a Down, with a punkier edge. The guitar work has also been drastically improved since the days of "What it is to Burn", and with influences such as Edward Scissorhands and Pee Wee's Big Adventure, one should expect quite a diverse sound.

I have had the pleasure of seeing Finch perform live, first at the Meow Meow in Portland, and a second time at The Boardwalk in Sactown. They put on an amazing show, exhibiting tons of stage energy and a great connection with the crowd. Nate is constantly running around or on the ground, thrashing around the stage and tripping up the other members of the band. They are the most active band on stage I have ever seen, and yet the quality of their music is never diminished. Unlike many other new generation punk bands, the songs Finch play live actually sound like the recorded versions (and sometimes better). Yet, offstage, Finch aren't big time rock stars; I stood next to Randy and Alex during the show in Portland, and noticed Alex selling t-shirts at The Boardwalk. They are always approachable and easy to talk to (if you can get through the crowd to get to them).

If you want emo songs of unrequited love, or perhaps musings on the life of a high school student, you might prefer Blink 182. Finch have evolved into a darker, somewhat more mysterious band; as can be seen on "Say Hello To Sunshine", from the first line ("Oh my God, I think I'm blind") to the last ("Writing it all down in blood"). Finch have proved themselves to be more than a pop punk, flash in the pan band. While the genre they started slowly begins to fade, Finch will last by always staying one step ahead.

Finch is:
Randy Strohmeyer (R2K): guitar/backup vocals
Alex Linares (Grizz): guitar
Marc Allen: drums
Derek Doherty: bass
Nate Barcalow: vocals


Falling Into Place - October 9, 2001 (Drive-Thru Records)

  1. Perfection Through Silence
  2. Letters to You
  3. Waiting
  4. New Kid

What it is to Burn - March 12, 2002 (Drive-Thru Records)

  1. New Beginnings
  2. Letters To You
  3. Post Script
  4. Grey Matter
  5. Perfection Through Silence
  6. Awake
  7. Without You Here
  8. Stay With Me
  9. Project Mayhem
  10. untitled
  11. Three Simple Words
  12. Ender
  13. What it is to Burn
  14. What it is to Burn - demo version (Australian release only)

Say Hello To Sunshine - June 7, 2005 (Drive-Thru/Geffen Records)

  1. Insomniatic Meat
  2. Revelation Song
  3. Brother Bleed Brother
  4. Piece of Mind
  5. Ink
  6. Fireflies
  7. Hopeless Host
  8. Reduced to Teeth
  9. A Man Alone
  10. Miro
  11. Ravenous
  12. Bitemarks and Bloodstains
  13. The Casket of Roderick Usher
  14. Dreams of Psilocybin
  15. Gak 2 (UK bonus track)


Many thanks to Zero Signal for the info about the Australian release of WIITB!

Last updated July 28th, 2005

Finch (?), n.; pl. Fishes (#). [AS. finc; akin to D. vink, OHG. fincho, G. fink; cf. W. pinc a finch; also E. spink.] Zool.

A small singing bird of many genera and species, belonging to the family Fringillidae.

⇒ The word is often used in composition, as in chaffinch, goldfinch, grassfinch, pinefinch, etc.

Bramble finch. See Brambling. -- Canary finch, the canary bird. -- Copper finch. See Chaffinch. -- Diamond finch. See under Diamond. -- Finch falcon Zool., one of several very small East Indian falcons of the genus Hierax. -- To pull a finch, to swindle an ignorant or unsuspecting person. [Obs.] "Privily a finch eke could he pull."



© Webster 1913.

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