If you were to listen to the first Archers of Loaf record and the second Crooked Fingers record, Bring on the Snakes (WARM) back to back, you'd be forgiven for being surprised that the same guy brought us both, but when seen as a gradual progression, it makes a certain sense. Although the Fingers album is much less raucous, it features the chiming harmonics and odd chord juxtapositions that were an Archers of Loaf trademark, and much of the percussion is drum loop and sound sculpture, similar to the Barry Black experience. Something surprising, though, is that Bachmann's voice, after the strangled screaming that was an Archers of Loaf strong point, actually seems to have mellowed more than the music. Perhaps it's that Bachmann doesn't have to try to be heard through crappy PAs over amps set on 10 anymore, but, swear to Superchunk, there are a couple times on the album when he sounds like Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. With any luck, after a few months on tour (the first major Crooked Fingers tour with a full band, apparently), Bachmann's voice will have gotten back some of that beautiful rawness. If not, tell the soundman at the Rocket Bar to keep turning Bachmann down until he has to yell, or maybe just buy him a couple of shots of whiskey. Whatever you do, though, don't keep yelling for Archers of Loaf songs all night. That would just be lame.
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