Crooked Fingers: Breaks in the Armor (Merge) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Crooked Fingers

Breaks in the Armor


Oct 31, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

With Archers of Loaf’s recent regrouping, the time has never been better for bestirred Archers fans to look to the periphery and spend some time with singer/guitarist Eric Bachmann’s Crooked Fingers.

Bachmann is long overdue for greater attention, as Crooked Fingers and its rotating lineup have logged more years and notched more long-player releases than the Archers in their heyday. Breaks in the Armor, their sixth album, finds Crooked Fingers returning to Merge after 2008’s self-released Forfeit/Fortune, and if it breaks no significant new creative ground, this set serves to offer possibly the best examples to date of Bachmann’s strengths as a songwriter and as a compelling singer.

It’s to Bachmann’s credit that Crooked Fingers has been a wholly different creative venture from that of his earlier band days, though Archers fans will likely be buzzed by this album’s “Bad Blood,” with its flashes of twangy dissonance and harder edges. The arresting Neil Diamond-in-the-gutter feel of 2001’s Bring On the Snakes surfaces here and there, but overall Bachmann works to exploit and expose a broader range of ideas and possibilities.

With the song-to-song mood shifting from tension to resignation to rousing hope, Breaks in the Armor not only reveals how Bachmann has grown along with his audience, but it might ultimately prompt a few covers as well. (

Author rating: 7/10

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