Underrated album of the week

Finch – Say Hello To Sunshine

Finch made a very bold and daring decision when they made Say Hello To Sunshine. The album was a drastic departure from first release What It Is To Burn. Abandoned were the hook-laden radio tunes of its predecessor, Say Hello To Sunshine was a lesson in post-hardcore eccentricity.

Don’t allow the title and colourful artwork deceive you; Sunshine is a far darker and sinister affair than Burn. Much of the subject matter of Nate Barcalow’s lyrics refers to missing body parts and functions with the deeper meaning remaining cryptic. But despite these darker themes the melody they were known for still stayed in tact.

“Insomniatic Meat” is the perfect opener as at first it sounds like a typical Finch song in the first few seconds until the vocals kick in and Barcalow’s vocals immediately indicate the new sound afoot. Interesting lyrics here; “Tie me to a chair, subconsciously, surrendering”. Follower “Revelation Song” wastes no time in getting the ball rolling with instant vocals and a catchy riff. Its punchy chorus is both anthemic and clever. The breakdowns of fourth track “Ink” are mesmerising with all the hooks intact. “Fireflies” is a song with another hooky chorus complete with quite thought provoking lyrics – “They say silence in golden, loneliness never shined liked this”.

The only single released was “Bitemarks & Bloodstains”. The song was allegedly the first written and represents the change in styles. It’s somewhat apparent as Barcalow’s vocals remain recognisable from before but the song itself is, like I’ve made evident, different. The track’s gentle verses are accompanied by Barcalow’s placid voice. The lyrics are again insightful but also, as odd is it may sound unclear – “Meier may we be this way forever and tell me lover what will become of the others?” Then come the chorus they switch to the somewhat disturbing – “Now I’m stealing her body and taking it home”. Hearing this song before all others on the record would truly set the tone and vibe of Say Hello To Sunshine. The following “Casket Of Roderick Usher” is 1:50 of relentless, perhaps insane riffing and hardcore brutality. While closer “Dreams Of Psilocybin” is interesting in its spoken word verses while the chorus is thunderous.

Most European copies came with a bonus track, “Gak 2”; a thudding track with a hint of prog.

Despite the quality of the album it was largely a commercial failure and didn’t reach the same sales of What It Is To Burn. Many of the fan-base they’d built on the back of Burn were disappointed and more or less abandoned the band. Regardless they commenced very low key touring but their dissolution shortly followed. But in 2007 the band announced their reformation and released a self titled EP in 2008 where its sound nodded back to that of What It Is To Burn.

Insomniatic Meat
Revelation Song
Brother Bleed Brother
A Piece Of Mind
Hopeless Host
Reduced To Teeth
A Man Alone
Bitemarks & Bloodstains
The Casket Of Roderick Usher
Dreams Of Psilocybin
Gak 2 (Bonus Track)

“Bitemarks & Bloodstains” Video

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