After a nearly two-year hiatus, experimental progressive-rock act Finch has reunited. The group began touring and released a four-song EP earlier this year. Known for explosive, hardcore melodic music, which the band describes as the sound of "a dump truck falling off of the Empire State Building," this California-based quintet enjoyed a great deal of underground success with its 2002 debut, What It Is to Burn. The album embodies emo-energy and angst-ridden choruses similar to that of Deftones and even the early work of the Used but brings enough fresh intensity and atmospheric drama to make Finch a standout band among the supersaturated screamo scene of the time. Self-conscious thoughts, mortality, bruised egos, and heartbreak define much of the group's material. A lot of its songs are essential breakup hymns for emo kids — but then again, several others could be considered just as poignant. In 2006, Finch's second album, Say Hello to Sunshine, received lukewarm responses, but it was still steeped in melodrama. In "Bitemarks and Bloodstains," lead singer Nate Barclaw sings: "Tell me lover what will become of the other/Bones, skin, nails, and flesh/On a bed of lack of passion, a medieval consequence." Romantic, huh? The band's newest stuff may be a little more pop-driven; still, fans hungry for the tortured and tragic old-school Finch will surely come out to get their fix.

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Monica Cady