Finch is a band that is tough to figure out in hindsight. I liked "What It is to Burn" but only to a point. The songs are never bad, but never outstanding either, with a few exceptions like the title track. On top of that, the style of screaming/singing emo/screamo or whatever you want to call it had become quite tired and formulaic by the time their album was hitting it big. With that in mind, I was curious to see what the band would do on their upcoming release.
It is a pleasant surprise so far. They haven't abandoned any parts of what they did to get them to where they are. They still have the same amount of passion, energy and some of the best technical ability of anybody playing in their genre. Now, in order to push the envelope, they seem to have embraced a little more of their ambition and really gone after something a little different.
The sound of "Say Hello to Sunshine" appears to be a matured version of their style. That isn't to say that the hooks and pop sensibilities are gone, but they are willing to push past the standard structures that make material in the emo/screamo genre so familiar and comfortable. For example, the band mentions Faith No More in its influences and that is readily apparent on this album.
But that isn't all of it. For example, on "A Piece of Mind" I hear some deceptively heavy and simple riffs that recall Helmet, although only for moments at a time. On "Ink" I hear a song that sounds like Finch, but it is more boisterous and full, like the kind of song that Incubus wishes they had written for their last album. It is just a great combination of syncopation and the kind of guitar riffage that would have an entire floor of kids bouncing.