California newcomers release record

By on March 28, 2002

During these times of over-labeling rock bands, placing them into sub-genres such as emo, neu-metal, indie rock or whatever the latest trend is, how would one classify a band that infuses all of these stylings into a heavy, emotional, yet still unique sound? It can be done in one word- Finch.
The Temecula, California quintet is the latest band to release a new record under indie label Drive-Thru Records.
Drive-Thru has already launched the careers of a handful of up-and-comers, but Finch’s release of “What It Is To Burn” can, and most likely will, surpass anyone’s expectations for the band.
At the band’s high school initiation under the name Numb, the original band members singer Nate Barcalow, guitarist Alex Linares, bassist Derek Doherty and drummer Alex Pappas were a rip-off of late-90’s metal acts, namely the Deftones.
The band brought in guitarist Randy Strohmeyer to bolster their sound. Strohmeyer’s influences were more in the realm of pop-punk than metal. Instead of this being a problem, the band adapted, thus giving the world Finch as we now know it, as pop-punk with balls.
Their first full-length comes only five months after their debut EP “Falling Into Place” was released.
The EP ended up being one of the highest selling debuts ever released on Drive-Thru. Keep in mind this four song EP from a newcomer was keeping pace with other acts such as New Found Glory and Midtown.
Armed with a year’s worth of song ideas, Finch entered the studio in late 2001 and teamed up with producer Mark Trombino, who has previously worked with flavors of the week Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World. What resulted is the hard rocking, screaming, yet melodic punk that is “What It Is To Burn.”
The disc leads off with “New Beginning.” With a trippy guitar intro, crunchy guitar riffs and heavy cymbal crashes the unique sound of Finch is introduced.
“Letters To You” is a fan favorite thanks to its appearance on Drive-Thru’s latest compilation. The chorus “Can’t you see that I wanna be there with open arms / It’s empty tonight and I’m all alone / Get me through this one / Do you notice I’m gone,” showcases Barcalow’s melodic and smooth voice as well as the background screams.
“To Burn” features guest vocals from Daryl Palumbo of the ultra-hardcore punk upstarts Glassjaw on two tracks, “Grey Matter” and “Project Mayhem.” Palumbo and Barcalow’s voices are the two most perfect vocals for this harder style of punk music.
The best aspect of Finch is that they don’t really have a particular niche. They are beyond common labels that the industry points out. From the thank you’s in the disc’s liner notes thanking acts from Jimmy Eat World to Bjork, Finch pulls influences from all ends of rock and puts them into a hard rocking basket of angst.


About Matt Kentfield - Staff Writer