FINGER ELEVEN — Five Crooked Lines

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FINGER ELEVEN - Five Crooked Lines cover
4.17 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2015

Filed under Hard Rock
By FINGER ELEVEN

Tracklist

1. Gods of Speed (3:31)
2. Criminal (3:13)
3. Save Your Breath (3:02)
4. Wolves And Doors (3:07)
5. Come On, Oblivion (7:16)
6. Not Going To Be Afraid (3:46)
7. Five Crooked Lines (3:43)
8. Blackout Song (4:04)
9. Absolute Truth (3:05)
10. Lost For Words (5:24)
11. Sensory Eraser (5:24)
12. A New Forever (4:28)

Total Time 49:43

Line-up/Musicians

- Scott Anderson / lead vocals
- James Black / lead guitar
- Rick Jackett / rhythm guitar
- Sean Anderson / bass
- Chris Powell / drums

About this release

Released by The Bicycle Music Company on July 31, 2015.
Produced by Dave Cobb.
Recorded 2013-2014.

Thanks to aglasshouse for the addition

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Unitron
Finger Eleven - Five Crooked Lines

'Five Crooked Lines' is the sixth studio album, seventh if counting Rainbow Butt Monkeys, by hard rock/metal band Finger Eleven. Finger Eleven's alternative metal masterpiece 'Tip', remains one of my favorite albums of all time, but after 'The Greyest of Blue Skies' they started to mellow out a bit switching to hard rock on their self-titled. Unfortunately, after the success of songs like 'One Thing', they went to a bland funky pop-rock sound on the following releases. However, this album ditches the style of the previous albums for the most part.

Instead of a modern hard rock sound, Finger Eleven takes influences from classic hard rock for the most part. The influences that creep in the most to me are classic bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and stoner rock/metal bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Clutch. Immediately we are given the appropriately titled 'Gods of Speed', which begins with fast fuzzy distorted guitar work with some great complementary drum work. I especially love the chorus, which keeps the same fast guitar playing under the atmospheric vocals from Scott Anderson. I think this song is a perfect example of a band playing with intense speed yet managing to be melodic and atmospheric at the same time. The fuzzy guitar sound also shows up in the next song 'Criminal', except the song is much slower then the previous. During the bridge of the song, there's some Black Sabbath-esque riffs. It ends with some really nice fast drum work.

The song 'Save Your Breath' just screams Clutch, with it's distorted guitar sound and Anderson's vocals having that gutsy tone of Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon. However, like most of the album, there are the more mellow passages. Also featured on the album is Finger Eleven's longest song to date, 'Come on, Oblivion' clocking in at 7:17. This song beings with guitar harmonics and great atmospheric bass work that reminds me of Pink Floyd, Anderson's great vocals soon come in. It picks up with heavy guitar riffing, while keeping the Floydian atmosphere. Another Floyd-influenced song is 'Lost for Words', which begins with menacingly beautiful guitar harmonies playing over crashing guitar. During some parts of the song, Anderson's vocals almost remind me of David Gilmour when combined with the plodding acoustics and serene guitar harmonies.

So as I've stated, the album has a perfect mix of heavy rockers and atmospheric tracks. Especially the title track has a catchy blues-y beat. However, while the majority of the album is amazing, there are a couple really mediocre songs that are reminiscent of the bland funk rock of the previous two albums. Those unfortunate two are 'Wolves and Doors' and 'Blackout Song', which both basically sound like they're trying to be hit singles. However, these don't hinder my enjoyment of the album much, the other songs more then make up for the two lame tracks.

Overall, I find this to be Finger Eleven's best album since 'The Greyest of Blue Skies', and my personal second favorite of theirs after 'Tip'. It's true, Finger Eleven may be finished with their melancholic metal past, but I think they're also finished with their funk-y pop rock. I can tell they're a band that wants to evolve and just enjoys making music, and if this classic rock/hard rock style is going to be what they're going to making for a bit, I'm in full support. I can't wait for more. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!
aglasshouse
With the release of Them Vs. You Vs. Me in 2007, Canadian rockers Finger Eleven had diverged into two paths. One being what was explored in the aforementioned; blatant and unforgiving commercial alt. rock, or in the case of the prior self titled a more realistic yet undoubtedly watered down version of their early metal aesthetic. The latter I preferred mostly due to pretty obvious reasons, largest of which being the fact that it sounded simply more creative and like they were actually trying. 2010 broke the monotony with Life Turns Electric, giving new light towards following music, yet still yielding a view that was shrouded in the uncertainty of their future. Five Crooked lines was eventually announced on the bands Facebook page to much trepidation from me.

As of today the album has been available via stream and I garnered a listen. Here are my overall thoughts:

My general consensus is that it doesn't take much from TvYvM and more from the self titled. Good thing of course. Classic grunge makes it's way more into the musical rhythm as opposed to the watered down funk that Finger Eleven had attempted in the past.The album also features perhaps their longest song, 'Come On, Oblivion' at 7:17. As expected there are one or two tracks attempting to be the next 'Paralyzer', the bands number one track ever since it was released. The more prominent of these copies is 'Wolves and Doors', and excruciatingly boring downgraded "hard rock" song that was largely advertised in hope that it would indeed succeed the 2007 song, to no avail.

As a whole Five Crooked Lines is something stale, but it does indeed shine where it needs to. The band indeed has assuaged my worries and broken the mold of mediocrity. If you are interested, something to compare the album is as a whole is indeed the self titled, but with less awful tracks.

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