Created out of the ashes of his former
band, the legendary North Carolina jangle-punk outfit Archers of
Loaf, Crooked Fingers has released three albums since it formed
in early 2000. The band's hallmark sound is surreal acoustic balladry
that mixes stark, doomsy lyrics with anthemic, uplifting melodies
-- imagine Neil Diamond singing through a bullhorn backed by Tindersticks
and you're getting close.
In fact, at times Bachmann's voice is a spot-on replica of Diamond's,
though these tunes are romantic in a different, darker sort of way
than, say, "Sweet Caroline." Still, they're no less hook-filled.
Don't be surprised to find yourself singing along to some of the
downright disturbing songs off the band's last full-length, 2003's
Red Devil Dawn, only to realize that they're about the end of the
world ("Big Darkness"), a lurking killer ("Bad Man
Coming") or a twisted love, sporting lines like "Drinking
sparking wine and sniffing glue / I've been looking for some soft
abuse." ("Sweet Marie"). Bachmann's songs are
deceivingly beautiful and somewhat frightening at the same time.
"The first three records were, in a sense, about me,"
he said. "It took a long time to write this new one. When I
moved from Atlanta to Seattle everything kind of collapsed. I hit
a bottleneck, and when I came through it I wanted to have a band
that was more involved and be collaborative, more interdependent."
The new album, recorded at Seattle's Jupiter Recording Studio with
producer Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, The Minus 5, Presidents
of the United States of America), features live drums, guitars and
vocals and is "way more of a band thing" that his other
"The lyrics are more welcoming, more open and less self-indulgent,"
he added. "It was a very liberating way to write."
song was about stuff that happened right before my quick departure,
and about how, as things get bigger, I'm losing touch with