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Crooked Fingers

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Album Review

For all the sounds, instruments, and musicians employed on Crooked Fingers, the sound of this collaboration by Archers of Loaf's Eric Bachmann and Brain Causey of Man or Astro-man? is curiously lo-fi; it's also astonishingly gorgeous in its orchestral minimalism. Guitar, looping cello, and eclectrochime guide the folky melodies. "New Drink for the Old Drunk" has a let's-raise-a-toast veneer but its sentiment is straight from the heart of darkness, as is "Man Who Died of Nothing at All." "Black Black Ocean" has a melody so finely crafted, it's for the ages. The writing seems effortless; it's easy to imagine the writer lived the words and heard the melodies swirling in his head to the point of madness. Though Bachmann's style has been compared to the dark hours of Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen, he also recalls a more deeply disturbed Tom Waits — especially on the sick, twisted, and beautiful "Juliette" and "She Spread Her Legs and Flew Away" — in no small part due to his 200-cigarettes croak.

Customer Reviews

Pretty damn good record

First of all, the Archers were a great band. Second, the Crooked Fingers are every bit as good. Yes, the vocals are what Neil Diamond wishes he would have done . . . and the songs too. But to call this record (or any Crooked Fingers release) derivative is banal. I've grown away from hooks and pop, but this record still sounds refreshing . . . lyrically and musically. For those who like to wallow in misery, self defeat, or any other sort of pathetic human behavior, this is your soundtrack.

Understated but never unimpressive...

A mesmerizing debut. It stepped up to a profound pedastal in my collection at the time, and then I was thrilled when more albums starting coming out, but this one remains unique. "New Drink for the Old Drunk" is the boisterous crowd-pleaser of this record, though "Man Who Died of Nothing at All" more perfectly encapsulates Bachmann's strengths and sensibilities as a singer, guitar player, and composer. Overall, this is the "late lonely night" record of Crooked Fingers' releases, swelling with sympathy for the human condition in all its weakness and fragility. ("She Spread Her Legs & Flew Away" completely justifies its audacious premise.) If you've got your issues or vices, this album will make you feel understood - "Under Sad Stars" is a wistful heavenly catharsis for all of us. The magical opener "Crowned in Chrome" is among my favorite songs of all time, wonderfully liquid with loss. Crank up, listen up, and swim in it...

two reviews?

i can't believe this great album has only two reviews. tracks 1,2,6,7,8, and 9 are great. they paint pictures i can picture.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Crooked Fingers was the solo project of singer/guitarist Eric Bachmann, best known as the longtime frontman for North Carolina indie rock institution Archers of Loaf. A onetime saxophone major at Appalachian State University, he co-founded the Archers in Chapel Hill in late 1991; quickly emerging as a major local favorite, the band's off-kilter noise pop broke through on national college radio two years later with the release of the single "Web in Front," followed by a series of acclaimed LPs including...
Full Bio
Crooked Fingers, Crooked Fingers
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