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finger eleven
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 
 
Official Bio
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 started.
 

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