The casual observer might pass judgment on New Jersey while cruising down its famous length of turnpike, whizzing by noxious chemical plants, a beer factory, and the far-from-picturesque Newark Liberty Airport. But maybe those nasty substances, having seeped into the water, have mutated the Garden State’s population into a pool of rock dynamos, the latest of which comes in the form the Finals, a quintet out of Bergenfield, just a stone’s throw from Manhattan.
Friends since grade school, the Finals recorded their debut full-length, Plan Your Getaway, with producer (and fellow Jersey hero) Heath Saraceno of Midtown. But thankfully, Getaway isn’t a greatest hits revue of Jersey’s greatest. The most prominent influence here actually isn’t Midtown, but the Midwest: Brawny, insistent numbers like “They’ll Never Know” and “Extended Autumn” owe more to Windy City legends Alkaline Trio. And there’s an occasional twangy guitar or country-fried riff (particularly on “Plague Escapade”) that suggest the Finals have a few unexpected tricks up their sleeves for albums to come.
Upcoming Finals shows:
5/26, Wilkes-Barre, PA (Cafe Metropolis) 5/27, Montclair, NJ (Bloomfield Ave. Cafe) 6/16, Oakland, NJ (Squirrel Fest – Oakland Elks Lodge) 7/3, Indianapolis, IN (The Emerson Theater)