Crooked Fingers 'Breaks in the Armor' (Merge)

Former Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann debuted this project, Crooked Fingers, about a dozen years ago, and since then he’s used the name whenever it suits. This latest Crooked Fingers release is a spare, rhythmic, almost folky rock ’n’ roll collection, heavy on bass and simple guitar patterns but very tuneful—really beautiful in its simplicity.
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Former Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann debuted this project, Crooked Fingers, about a dozen years ago, and since then he’s used the name whenever it suits. This latest Crooked Fingers release is a spare, rhythmic, almost folky rock ’n’ roll collection, heavy on bass and simple guitar patterns but very tuneful—really beautiful in its simplicity. Gospel piano, a la Nick Cave, spooky synths and found sounds spread a dark wash over tracks such as “Black Candles” and Went to the City.” Dueting with Bachmann on these all-original songs is singer/songwriter/musician Liz Durrett; her voice is a sweet, soulful foil for Bachmann’s gritty singing style and stripped-bare guitar work. This is a great effort full of raw feeling from a gifted, versatile artist.

Engineer: Matt Yelton. Studio: The Bakery (Athens, GA). Mastering:Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering.