Most bands dread the
sophomore slump. finger eleven transcends that trap and has created a album
that is in many ways far superior than their debut "Tip". It further shows
that the group is growing musically. When they released their debut, they
were at the forefront of the new metal sound, now they are seasoned veterans.
Vocalist Scott Anderson continues his style of demonstrating the fine balancing
between the scream and melody. The music takes on an industrial metal touch
that carries the listener from track to track. From the first note of "First
Time" finger eleven got my attention and never let go through all eleven
tracks. The first single "drag you down" should give listeners a clear
understanding of why this band stands out from crowd. The sixth track "Broken
Words" is a sure radio hit if it becomes a single. It's slow and moody
verses balanced against an incredible chorus easily make this one of the
best songs in a collection of great songs. "Sick of it all" is another
standout, with multi-layered music and a chorus containing a solid vocal
hook that will have you singing along on the first listen. This album contains
eleven songs and it's eleven great songs you will get, no filler here.
Congrats to finger eleven for overcoming the sophomore slump unscathed.
We look forward to great things from these guys! - antiGUY
finger eleven is not
your penis. finger eleven is not your middle fingers corralled together
in a triumphant "f*** you!" finger eleven is an instinct that lives in
the back of your brain. It's a decision made true to yourself, with a complete
disregard of outside influence. It's that one extra finger that you use
to point you in the right direction. It's the path of most resistance and
that's why it's the perfect name for this band.
When we were making
the last album we had all kinds of technical and political garbage hanging
around us and even though we got a great album out of it, we still felt
like there were many stones left unturned with both Arnold and ourselves.
This time around, after having been through almost all the pitfalls a band
can go through, with the exception of a dying member (knocking on wood)
we had a much clearer idea of what we were about as people, songwriters
and musicians. Having that much clarity, or at least thinking we did, made
a huge difference.
As we got into the
heart of our six-month recording session things got cloudy. It was as though
we had been admiring a mural from half an inch away and finally thought
"What does this thing look like?" Once we could see the big picture, once
we were listening to the songs as "songs" rather than a pile of little
parts, we started to get that clarity back. The music started shaping us
and our vision and with that a new vision started shaping the songs. Because
of that there is way more of our "selves" on the album.
The album artwork
was another place where we were able to sit back and look at things - where
we've been and where we've ended up. It's a visual chronicle of what was
happening to us from the '97 release of Tip to the making of this
new one - a complete retelling of how we were dropped by our first label.
To how we didn't hesitate to pick ourselves up and go the uphill road on
our own legs. To realizing that all of this clawing has brought us back
to another puppeteer the great record industry in the sky where
we surrender the strings again and jump off the edge to dangle. Only this
time we're armed with all the knowledge we've gathered along the way and
all of our decisions are and can be made with our eyes open.
The Greyest of
Blue Skies felt like the perfect title for this album despite how late
in the game it came along. "Stop the presses!" was actually yelled someplace,
somewhere, by some person when we decided to change it at the 11th hour
(pardon the pun). It was originally the title for Above which Scott changed,
as the lyrics evolved and it stuck with each of us over the years. Then,
with a last minute epiphany, at a rehearsal, it came to us. It seemed perfect
for a few reasons, the first being that it feels like a title.
THE GREYEST OF
BLUE SKIES. The second was that it was really relevant to the artwork
and the story it was trying to tell, so in turn it was very relevant to
us and the journey we had been on over the past few years. And finally,
it summed up the music nicely. It's this strange blend of "dark/brooding"
and "twisted positivity". It's kind of bleak, but at least we admit that
blue skies exist somewhere.
The Greyest of
Blue Skies is the closest we've ever come to getting what was in our
heads onto tape. Along with all of the previously mentioned ups and downs
our heads were filled with all the music we've enjoyed, absorbed, admired
and interpreted over the past three years. There isn't one area of music
that is relevant to us that we didn't explore on this record, from the
heaviest influences to the softest. These extremes are the reason why the
album has to be listened to from top to bottom - there isn't ONE song that
sums up Finger Eleven on this record. From its opening riff First Time
definitely sets a tone for the record but once you're baited in it takes
you to all sorts of different places.
Drag You Down is
definitely the heaviest song we've ever done and is a result of being frustrated
in the studio. It's a very simple song that just happened to catch a moment.
My Carousel, in comparison, is probably the most complicated song we've
ever done. We worked extremely hard to keep it as interesting and insane
as it could be, but still have it maintain melodic value. It gave us the
confidence to say, "We can do anything as long as it's musical". That's
when parts like the bridge of Sick of it All came along. There is something
like fifteen voices in the middle section of that song which is something
we had never done before.
Then we head into
For the Ocean which has a great "full speed ahead" spirit that we probably
would have over thought a few years ago. Broken Words sort of floats into
existence with no real structure until the chorus. We wanted to just let
the vibe carry you rather than put it on rails; we put a lot of trust and
faith in our listeners. Suffocate is another one of those songs where we
felt comfortable trying "anything" and those risks paid off and made it
a really unique song.
Bones + Joints and
Famous are both great melodies that didn't need to be overpowered by volume
or aggression. They were great lessons in letting things be what they are
and not forcing square pegs into round holes.
They also really
helped to stretch our "sound" even further. For the past few years we've
been playing Depeche Mode's Walking In My Shoes live, so when it came time
to do the record it was an interesting notion to record it. In many ways
this song had just as much history and relevance to us as any of the other
songs since this one had been along for the ride over the years. What was
initially appealing about the song was it's inherent heaviness, something
that isn¹t always associated with DM. It was cool to draw those elements
out of it, but still have it maintain its original shape.
Stay and Drown always
felt like a great way to end it all; there's a certain grandeur to it that
is hard to follow and there are so many of those "magic moments" that give
you goose bumps every time, as though you weren't even there for the recording
process. Each song leans on the other and feeds the other. By the time
the album is over you're in a totally different place than when you started,
but the journey never feels bumpy or forced, it just evolves. And when
it's all over you have to go back to the beginning to remember where we
to samples or purchase this title online