ALBUM: Finch – What It Is To Burn X

Release Date: March 25th, 2014
Label: Tragic Hero Records


When you reminisce about your childhood, you can always pick out a few certain heavyweight albums that triggered your love for the music thereafter. The albums that were left in your CD player for weeks, stuck on repeat until you could sing along to every single word and hum the opening riffs to a track before had even started. For so many people across the world, ‘What It Is To Burn’ is the pinnacle of those releases. 12 years later and a well received anniversary tour has spawned a live version of the album that will take you back to your good old years, and Finch‘s too.

So much success and critical acclaim did little for the recorded future of Finch, who followed it with just one full length album in 2004’s ‘Say Hello To Sunshine’ and two EPs during reformation number one. Problems within the band caused for two break-ups since the prolific album was the talk of the alternative music scene, yet when ‘New Beginnings’ kicks in, the excitement from the crowd is immediately obvious and the band sound as good as they did a decade ago.

Nate Bacarlow leads the line through their spotlight album with passion, and proves why the post-hardcore genre boomed in the early noughties. Even the powerful screams at the end of ‘Post Script’ are evidence enough. The crowd join in throughout the whole album and certainly add to the experience, whether it’s the vocal introduction to ‘Three Simple Words’ or the gritty moving chorus to ‘Grey Matter’. The latter allows Bacarlow to excel with aggressive throaty screams as well as melodic sections, perfecting that combination of screamo attitude atmosphere and addictive hooks.

There’s no doubt that ‘Letters To You’ and title track ‘What It Is To Burn’ have been the show stealers for the band the last decade and, unsurprisingly, they go down flawlessly with a huge roar. Any doubters of the band’s commitment to live shows over the last few years may have their tails between their legs once they’ve heard a copy of this.

A testament to any live album is the impact on the listener when a new track starts and the overwhelming feeling of happiness and exhilaration is similar to that of what you feel at an actual live performance. Despite knowing the tracklisting and having the titles of the songs there for you to see, when the guitars enter after the opening drum roll in ‘Stay With Me’, that adrenaline rush is instantly recreated and will have you shouting “woah” back at your iPod.

The highlights on ‘What It Is To Burn X’ will essentially be your own personal favourites from the original album. There’s no reason not to appreciate this album as much as you did 12 years ago, so reminisce fondly and hope that this new revival will be the remaking of Finch.

Written by Michael Heath