Friday, October 10, 2008
Crooked Fingers - Forfeit/Fortune deluxe edition
Eric Bachmann is one enormous enigma, literally and figuratively. You should remember him from his tenure fronting the exceedingly awesome Archers Of Loaf, a band that is increasing becoming the go-to carcass for unimaginative bands looking to rip off songs. Once Team AOL was formally scuttled post-Atlantic signing, most Bachmannophiles (myself included) were a little taken aback by his dropping his voice an octave and getting in touch with his inner Johnny Cash. Those first two NYC shows were real eye-openers. It wasn't until the close of the Brownies show where he debuted The Rotting Strip that things really started to make sense for me. I still wasn't totally on board, but it was hard to dispute that song's greatness and it definitely bode well for his new Waits-ian direction.
Eric debuted Crooked Fingers soon after on Athens, GA indie WARM, displaying a more adult direction driven by subtle electronics and nylon string work, with special guests drunken sorrow and depression. Could have been the relocation to Seattle, I guess. Bad luck and sorrow aside, the Crooked Fingers got better and better. The Red Devil Dawn soundtrack followed on Merge, as did the absolutely stellar Dignity and Shame. The last couple of years have found Eric releasing a solo record on Saddle Creek and living in a van outside of Seattle, hopefully of his own volition. The solo tour was ok, and featured the return of some old AOL favorites, but it really only whetted my appetite for the formal return of Crooked Fingers.
Wonderfully enough, the wait is over. Eric is releasing the newest Crooked Fingers on his own label though Constant Artist/Red Pig. Normally, I could see that meaning cost-cutting measures such as rudimentary packaging or shorter records but the deluxe pre-release comes in a great double gatefold with a bonus DVD. Musically, it appears that this will be a grower. The songs are decent, but even after the fifth or sixth spin, I'm still trying to figure out his intentions on some of the songs. There are female vocals and songs in Spanish to keep things interesting, but I'm waiting for the moment when the planets align for me and Forfeit/Fortune really clicks for me. I thought it might be the two shows earlier this week, but I dropped the ball, so it looks like its back to the stereo set for this old man. And to the store for you all. Buy Forfeit/Fortune here and check out for new tourdates here