Local Wire

Finger Eleven

For six long years, the Canadian quintet Finger Eleven must have regarded America as a stubborn virgin on prom night: No matter how hard they worked it, they just couldn't get lucky. Despite some well-crafted hard-rock albums, a whole lotta U.S. touring, and even a hearty push from labelmates Creed (when that actually carried some weight), nothing could get the band on our airwaves for more than five minutes.

It's not for lack of talent or quality songs. Finger Eleven has a powerful, distinctive singer in Scott Anderson, and a couple of guitarists who don't pull their crunchy riffs from the cliché bin. The "problem" has been that they weren't heavy or tortured enough to ride the nü-metal wave, and they're not nearly as Clear Channel-ready as slick Canuck countrymen Nickelback and Default.

But now, nine months after the band's self-titled third album was released to commercial ambivalence, mainstream radio has latched onto "One Thing" -- Finger Eleven's plaintive, semi-acoustic ode to regret -- in a huge way. So they've gotten to second base. Can they score? Probably not, but fuck it -- the group'll redirect all that frustrated energy into a damn good, no-frills rock show. Lucky you!

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Michael Alan Goldberg