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4.90 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1997


1. Quicksand (4:06)
2. Tip (3:41)
3. Shudder (3:25)
4. Awake And Dreaming (3:36)
5. Above (3:43)
6. Condenser (3:08)
7. Thin Spirits (3:26)
8. Glimpse (3:31)
9. Costume For A Gutterball (4:39)
10. Temporary Arms (4:09)
11. Swallowtail (4:24)

Total Time 41:48


- Scott Anderson / vocals
- Sean Anderson / bass guitar
- Rick Jackett / guitar
- Rob Gommerman / drums (Mercury release)
- Rich Beddoe / drums (Wind-up re-release)
- James Black / guitar

About this release

Label: Mercury Records
Release Date: August 26, 1997

Re-released by Wind-Up in 1998

Thanks to Stooge for the addition


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Finger Eleven-Tip

'Tip' is the first studio album by alternative metal band Finger Eleven. Some may consider 'Tip' to be Finger Eleven's second studio album, seeing as they released the album 'Letters From Chutney' under the name of Rainbow Butt Monkeys. Although it is the same band, they did change their sound from a funk metal style to a more unique alternative metal style.

Many of the songs on this album sound different from the sound of Finger Eleven on later albums. It has an overall much more melancholy sound, and sounds very different from other albums from the time I've heard. The album is able to combine the grunge of 'Letters From Chutney', and a much darker melancholy sound into a very well constructed mix. If I could compare it to any album from around the same time, it would be Tool's 'Undertow'.

The album begins with one of my favorite songs on the album 'Quicksand', which combines a melancholy sound with a heavy chorus. It also combines some grunge elements, making this a pretty unique song. The title track is another one of my favorites, where Scott Anderson gives a very strong vocal performance and the guitar really shines. 'Shudder' may be my favorite on the album where in parts it reminds me a lot of Porcupine Tree, especially the bridge. The bassline sounds great combined with the melancholy feel. The album ends with a surprisingly beautiful melancholy track 'Swallowtail', which again reminds me a lot of the style that Porcupine Tree would develop later. The drum beat combined with slow build-up of the guitar works really well.

Overall, 'Tip' is a very underrated album. It set the standard for a lot of alternative metal to come, and is quite a big accomplishment for a band switching from a funk metal sound to such a unique style. I highly recommend this album for any metal collection.

Hope you found this review helpful.

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After the members of Rainbow Butt Monkeys decided to take a more serious angle to their musical expertise, they changed the band name to Finger Eleven and released their second debut, Tip, in 1997. The music does definitely take a more dark turn, with the more heavier notes than their previously funk - metal music genre. Without further ado, let us dive into Finger Eleven's debut, Tip.

1. Quicksand

The album starts out with a track called Quicksand. It became their second single released from the album in 1998. It starts with a drum to roll you into the exploding guitar, which sounds very good. Then the guitar slows down and the drums take over, which is seen in many of Finger Eleven's later albums, like Greyest Of Blue Skies and their self- titled (Finger Eleven). The songs reboots back into heavy metal riffs, and the process repeats. The chorus has very good lyrics that blend well with the guitar. A good start to the album. (8/10)

2. Tip

The title track, Tip, is Finger Eleven's first single from the album. Starting from the murmurs of "keep on repeating something", we are greeted with a blend of heavy metal and punk rock. The only annoying thing here is the constant key change from the singer's voice, however it does fit in some places. The lyrics are fitting, even though the voice expressing them can get rather annoying in himself. The constant riff and key change really makes Tip one of the best title tracks from any album. (9/10)

3. Shudder

Shudder continues the legacy of Tip by mixing punk rock and alt metal into a blend of sound. A weird crackle starts us off into the quiet singing of Anderson. Everyone once in a while, the guitar comes in during the quiet singing to let off a few notes, until ultimately the real guitar starts and sets off the song. The song doesn't have much change, but does give us a very nice guitar solo by Black in the middle of the song. Anderson gives us an interesting voice change that is seen in many FE songs to come, along with a mix of his younger voice. Not as good as Tip, but overall standable by any metal fan. (6/10)

4. Awake and Dreaming

The fourth single from the album, there is not much to say about A&D. We are greeted with nice deep bass notes with good acoustics, and Anderson gives us great vocals, but nothing special or new. Anderson constantly jumps octaves, so it again is made slightly annoying. The song continues as pretty much the same until it ends. As a song I'd listen to, I'd give it a 7/10, but as a metal song, I would give it a 5/10. (6/10)

5. Above

Above was released as the third single from Tip. Above gives us that good punk/metal fusion again, that it's predecessor lacked very much. Unlike songs before it, however, Above gives us lyrical value. The lyrics are seeming to be inspired by control, and it sets us off with a good metal mood. Anderson drops the soprano in the beginning of the song, instead giving us his normal voice and a new sound of sort of angry-sounding voice instead. The soprano comes in to introduce us to a short lived yet spectacular guitar solo, which then brings us into the close of the song. Definitely an excellent song from the album. (10/10)

6. Condenser

Bringing us in with a volley of screeching guitar, Condenser quickly follows up Above. Unlike the other songs, the sound is not a blend of metal and punk, but is more leaning towards the Green Day sound of music. The lyrics are also very reminiscent of Green Day, giving us the same sound at every corner. The riffs are much softer and much different from the other songs. (6/10)

7. Thin Spirits

Thin Spirits is the seventh track on the album. Again, not much to say about it. The guitar is very similar to the other songs, however the lyrics take a very more soothing turn. A great song, but absolutely nothing new comes from it. (7/10)

8. Glimpse

Glimpse is a very interesting song. We are greeted with the more generic sound of Finger Eleven. In fact, it is much more reminiscent of the future sound than other songs on the album. Soprano is hardly used at all, and Anderson's voice combines with Black and Jackett's guitar, while Beddoe drums mercilessly. The lyrics are amazing, the key is excellent, and all of the instruments perform excellently well. (10/10)

9. Costume For a Gutterball

Weird name aside, CFaGB gives us a nice bass entrance along with grinding guitar. Along with well placed singing spots by Anderson, the song has good drum beats to add to it. (8/10)

10. Temporary Arms

Temporary Arms is a rather weak track on the album. After it's greater predecessors, TA's big issue is keeping up with them. The opening is unnecessarily long, and doesn't add anything to the song except the singing from Anderson. Guitar, drums, etc. is standable, but not great. (5/10)

11. Swallowtail

The final track on the album, 'Swallowtail' takes the place as track eleven. Like 'Temporary Arms', 'Swallowtail' has a droning beggining along with riffs and guitar that doesn't seem to go anywhere. Even Anderson, who usually has good lyrical value and sound, just sounds foolish. Even Beddoe attacks the drums with much less than his usual vigor. Much more foolish than their other tracks. (4/10)

Overall, 'Tip' was definitely a much better debut than Rainbow Butt Monkey's 'Letters from Chutney'. Although not as great as their future albums, 'Tip' takes the place in the wall of good metal in my book.

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