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CD Review: Crooked Fingers

Breaks in the Armor (Merge)

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Because he's considered an indie-rock artiste, Eric Bachmann often suppresses his more tuneful and openhearted urges. But try as he might, they manage to break through the din of Crooked Fingers' sixth album, a rousing and occasionally accessible record that ranks as one of Bachmann's all-time best. That's no small thing, considering he guided noise-rock heroes Archers of Loaf through most of the'90s. The one-man band Crooked Fingers is more scaled down but no less intense. On the opening track, "Typhoon," Bachmann sings, "There's a typhoon blowing," with part dread, part giddy anticipation. And that's pretty much how he operates: balancing the loud and the soft, the fear and the hope. Breaks in the Armor comes off not so much like Bachmann taking a victory lap, but like a man who's just getting started. — Gallucci

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