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Finger Eleven

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In the almost two and a half years it took to make their third album, Canadian rage rockers Finger Eleven have undergone a radical transition. Gone are the overwrought guitars, gratuitous venting, and nu-metal posturing that marked their early work. In their place are some tightly constructed melodies and emotionally articulate lyrics weaved into a coherent song cycle that documents the disintegration of a relationship. This isn’t to say the one-time headbangers have gone soft because they’re writing love songs and featuring gorgeous acoustic guitar work. There are some bonecrushers among the 11 songs here, but the sturdy rockers are less prosaic than the band’s earlier efforts, and it’s clear that they have paid more attention to song structure and dynamics, although Scott Anderson’s staccato delivery can give you whiplash. –Jaan Uhelszki

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  • Finger Eleven is a perfect example of a band that is dedicated to their craft unlike any other. Their first effort (as Finger Eleven), “Tip”, was a blistering tour de force of hard rock mixed with unforgettable lyrical hooks and flowing melody. But it was nothing more than a preview of what was to come. “The Greyest of Blue Skies” was an amazing sophomore album, layering waves of sonic hammering with the best of Scott Anderson’s poignant lyrics. And now, “Finger Eleven”, the latest release from this proudly Canadian quintet, is poised to take the rock world by storm. The combination of Rich Beddoe’s thundering drums, Sean Anderson’s throbbing bass and some truly phenomenal guitar interweaving from Rick Jackett and James Black, the band provides an excellent platform to support Scott Anderson’s unique vocal work, his best yet. If you like alternative rock with a hard edge, you need to pick up this disc. As a bonus, it includes a limited edition DVD of the band performing tracks live in Buffalo, NY and provides a great inside look behind the scenes of the making of this album. And now, a quick track by track breakdown (haven’t listened enough to REALLY critique the tracks, just got it today):1. Other Light (9/10): Good vocal hook, solid guitar work.2. Complicated Questions (8/10): Familiar F11 sound, yet subtly different.3. Stay in Shadow (10/10): Easily one of the 10 best ever by F11.4. Good Times (10/10): Amazing chorus, great flow to the song.5. Absent Elements (8/10): Very cool song, particularly in the second verse-to-end range.6. Thousand Mile Wish (10/10): Softer side of F11, but definitely welcome — lyrics really shine here.7. Conversations (7/10): Fast paced, yet simple. Good song, not great.8. The Last Scene of Struggling (9/10): Hidden gem on the disc, great guitar/bass/drum combinations showcase the talent this band has.9. Panic Attack (9/10): Great staccato vocal rhythms combined with hammering guitar and drum work make this a memorable track.10. Therapy (9/10): Good song about how close friends can carry you through the rough spots. Heartfelt lyrics, great rhythms.11. One Thing (10/10): Second acoustic track on the disc, and you can already see the lighters in the air when you close your eyes. AMAZING track about regretting what you missed out on.12. Obvious Heart (9/10): Great closer to the disc — vintage F11 sound.Overall Score: 9/10If you like alternative rock that doesn’t sound like it was just thrown together in a weekend, this disc is for you. If you like meaning in the lyrics of the songs you listen to, this disc is for you. If you like Finger Eleven already, well…rejoice, your wait is over. This is the best they’ve ever been.

    Posted on November 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Alright, so I first heard “Good Times” on the soundtrack of EA Sports’ SSX3, and fell in love with “One Thing” on the radio. The problem is, people don’t like to admit that songs like these two are melodic, catchy, and just plain good. “Good Times” and “Other Light” still have the feel of a not-so-mainstream rock album, while some of the others, mainly the two acoustic songs, have the ability to catch the ears of those who previously were not Finger Eleven fans.

    My main argument is that people today are selfish, because they want a band all to themselves. Finger Eleven used to be your band, right? And then they sold out, right? WRONG. Just because they’re on the radio does not mean they are any worse than they were before. It means they are icreasing their range of sounds and their number of fans. It’s a matter of growth.

    Get the cd, it’s worth it. It’s ok to buy it because you heard the songs on the radio…geez.

    Posted on November 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Finger Eleven are one of those bands that has been under the radar for years. Their first two albums barely could crack the charts and it took almost 6 years for them to finally breakthrough with the single “One Thing.” Over the past 8 months, this CD has steadily become a favorite of mine. It is extremely addictive and the songs get stuck in your head for days. To further my appreciation and newfound respect for the boys in F11, I saw them live last night, as support for Trapt & Smile Empty Soul — those two bands delivered exceptional performances, but in their meager 5 song set, Finger Eleven totally blew them out of the water. They hold up just as well (maybe even better) live as on CD. I own all three Finger Eleven albums, and I must say, this is their best to date. It is full of infectious hooks, deep and often clever lyrics and accomplished musicianship. To say they sold out is just ignorant. The band have opened the door on a whole new sound; and if anything, the music on here is more intense than before. Hard rockers like “Stay In Shadow” and “Other Light” build on ear-catching riffs and are complimented nicely by slow ballads like “One Thing” and “Thousand Mile Wish.” The closer, “Obvious Heart” stands as a favorite track, as do “Good Times,” “Absent Elements” and “Complicated Questions.” If you’ve been a fan of Finger Eleven for a while, give this disc a chance. If you ignore it because it is getting radio attention, you’re only depriving yourself of a great piece of music. For anyone that can appreciate alternative/hard-rock, I recommend this. Hopefully Finger Eleven aren’t dropped by their label like other bands that aren’t instantly platinum sellers, but have been mainstays at their labels (the recent Cold/Geffen Records departure comes to mind). This band deserves to be heard.

    Posted on November 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is a great release from start to finish, but I’m still not quite sure of how I feel about it. It’s got its songs that are truly amazing, but it’s also got its songs that are relative duds. I would write them off as just another new band trying to be something they’re not, but there’s just too much diversity on this CD to be another typical rock band. This band has depth, which a lot of bands nowadays don’t. When Finger Eleven is on, they’re on. When they’re not, it’s nothing great. But luckily for us, they’re on for about 90% of this CD.

    The thing that sets this band apart from others is their range. They have songs that can make you rock your head, but then they have songs that are heartfelt and touching. One Thing, their single as of now, is one of those heartfelt songs. The simplicity of this song is why I like it so much. It’s just emotional enough that you can feel the pain of the lyrics, but it’s not sappy enough to make you cringe when you hear it. Thousand Mile Wish is another slow song that pushes the boundaries of sorrow. It’s really a touching love song, and the acoustics make the song that much better. Complicated Questions is one of the harder songs on here. The guitar work is ear-catching, and the vocals are extremely original. Definitely one of the best on here.

    A few of the best songs on here are Complicated Questions, Absent Elements, Thousand Mile Wish, and The Last Scene Of Struggling. All in all, this is a solid release. There are two duds on this CD, and that’s really about it. All the others have something that makes it great. Finger Eleven have a very distinctive sound, and that’s why I think they’ll be around for quite a while.

    Posted on November 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Finger Eleven’s new album is more thoughtful and softer than The Greyest of Blue Skies or Tip. It still keeps to the F11 style, only gone on a more emotional adventure than their previous albums. Of course, TGOBS is my favourite CD by these guys, but they are still progressing so you have to give this album a chance. Here is my review of their self-titled album.1. Other Light- Short, but a good way to open the new CD. 7/102. Complicated Questions- One of my favourite songs on the album. Scott does an amazing job on the vocals. 9/103. Stay in Shadow- Another awesome song. It’s like the Drag You Down, except it’s not as heavy. 8/104. Good Times- Like every CD when it comes out, this was the first single so I tend to skip over it, but still a cool song. 6/105. Absent Elements- Definitely in my top three. This song blows me away, I can’t think of any way to describe it. The lyrics are really deep. 10/106- Thousand Mile Wish- Pretty good song 6/107- Conversations- One of my least favourites 4/108- Last Scene of Struggling- Haven’t heard it enough, but it’s pretty cool. 6/109- Panic Attack- AMAZING SONG!!!! 9/1010- Therapy- Probably my favourite song on the CD. This song is so deep. I loved it the first time I heard it. 11/1011- One Thing- A great softer song. 8/1012- Obvious Heart- it doesn’t have the same closing impact as Stay and Drown, but it’s a good song nonetheless. 8/10Like I said it’s not as good as their last, and it’s much softer, but in a good way, like White Pony was to Deftones.

    Posted on November 12, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now