FINGER ELEVEN — Five Crooked Lines (review)

FINGER ELEVEN — Five Crooked Lines album cover Album · 2015 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
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.

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Fant0mas wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Not bad for this kind of music. First time I heard this band. I'll try some more albums maybe.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Sometimes an album can have great singles, but you're right it's not that often. Soundgarden's 'Superunknown' is an example of an album with strong singles that I can think of.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Singles often are the weakest tracks from albums, or at least so I've found. I remember Amberian's Dawn's Arctica from their End of Eden (2010) album. I still think that's a really boring song. The album itself is far from the best but does have some better stuff.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yup, it's definitely one of those albums that may have a really bad single, but most of the other songs are of really high quality.
aglasshouse wrote:
more than 2 years ago
An album that undoubtedly deserves more praise.


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