When Ontario, Canada rockers Finger Eleven decided to start writing the follow-up to their 2010 album Life Turns Electric, the band members all agreed they wanted to do something different. Since their formation in high school in 1990 (as Rainbow Butt Monkeys), the musicians, Scott Anderson (vocals), James Black (guitar), Rick Jackett (guitar) and Sean Anderson (bass) had released six full-length albums – including the Juno-Award winning Them Vs. You Vs. Me -- and experimented with a variety of styles such as hard rock, classic rock, heavy blues and textural pop.
2016’s Five Crooked Lines incorporates the band’s earliest influences and recontextualizes them in an explosive modern framework. “Absolute Truth” features a turbulent rhythm that tumbles through a vortex of quasi-psychedelic guitars, “Blackout Song” is a feast of fuzzy, wailing riffs, four-to-the-floor beats and euphoric hooks and the title track exits the gate with crashing symbols, a buzzing passage and a counter-melody that keeps the music pumping. There’s even a seven-minute song, “Come On, Oblivion,” a transcendent ebb-and-flow mélange of trippy acoustic and electric instrumentation that’s as reminiscent of early The Verve as it is of Pink Floyd.
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