Crooked Fingers’ Breaks in the Armor is Eric Bachmann’s most natural record under the moniker and sounds like the product of truly honest song writing.
On this album, Bachmann isn’t experimenting with new sounds or styles; he’s embracing everything he’s done so far. The result is an organic mix that resists easy classification, but it feels like Breaks in the Armor is a singer/songwriter approach to indie rock.
This leads to a quiet energy. Songs pulse, but never feel rushed. The superb “The Counterfeiter” exemplifies this with the steady click of drum sticks leading into a half-time chorus. Bachmann does break out of this muted color pallet on occasion, too, such as the Archers of Loaf-esqe jangly guitar line that introduces “Bad Blood.”
The lyrics serve to build to a muted environment that Bachmann is trying to break out of. He sings of benders in cities and rooms full of losers. He sings of past ghosts and coming personal apocalypses. Like Breaks in the Armor’s cover art, the picture isn’t complete, but there’s enough there for the listener to be able to fill in the blanks.
With the Archers of Loaf reunion shows slaying in addition to this great solo record, 2011 seems to be Bachmann’s year. If you’ve found yourself getting giddy over Archers reissues, make sure to give Breaks in the Armor a listen, too.
Breaks in the Armor is out today, October 11, on Merge Records. Crooked Fingers will play the Cat’s Cradle on October 15.