What It Is to Burn

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What It Is to Burn
Studio album by Finch
Released March 12, 2002
Recorded 2001 at Big Fish Studios, Encinitas, California
Genre Emo,[1] hardcore punk,[1] pop punk,[1][2] post-hardcore[2]
Length 61:13
Label Drive-Thru, MCA
Producer Mark Trombino
Finch chronology
Falling into Place
What It Is to Burn
Say Hello to Sunshine
Singles from What It Is to Burn
  1. "What It Is to Burn"
  2. "New Beginnings"
  3. "Letters to You"
    Released: 5 April 2003

What It Is to Burn is the debut album by American post-hardcore band Finch. It was produced by former Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, Madina Lake, Blink-182). Daryl Palumbo from New York rock band Glassjaw makes a guest appearance on two songs, "Grey Matter" and "Project Mayhem". The first pressing of the album contained a demo version of "What It Is to Burn"—which was originally on the compilation album Welcome to the Family (2001)—instead of the re-recorded version that was on later pressings.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Punktastic 5/5 stars [3]
Sputnik Music 3/5 stars[2]
Ultimate Guitar Archive 9.6/10[4]

The album received a generally positive reception. A five star review was given by Punktastic reviewer Paul Savage, who remarks that the band "puts 110% into every single song", as well as praising the emotion and Daryl Palumbo's influence.[3] Allmusic rated the album with 4 out of 5 stars, commenting "Finch's full-length debut is a phenomenal account of a band riding the thin line between hardcore and pop-punk while retaining a trademark sound that stands out from the crowd", as well as being an album pick.[1] Ryan Flatley of Sputnik Music praised "Grey Matter" and "Project Mayhem" for their energy, but states that the album turned out to be a bit of a disappoinment due to the large amount of hype surrounding the release, giving it an overall 3 stars.[2]

The album has been a massive influence on Saosin's Saosin (2006), Young Guns' All Our Kings Are Dead (2010), A Day to Remember's What Separates Me from You (2010), D.R.U.G.S.'s D.R.U.G.S. (2011), and The Amity Affliction's Chasing Ghosts (2012).[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Finch

No. Title Length
1. "New Beginnings"   4:02
2. "Letters to You"   3:20
3. "Post Script"   2:50
4. "Grey Matter" (featuring Daryl Palumbo) 2:40
5. "Perfection Through Silence"   3:12
6. "Awake"   4:49
7. "Without You Here"   4:10
8. "Stay with Me"   4:05
9. "Project Mayhem" (featuring Daryl Palumbo) 5:19
10. "Untitled"   4:13
11. "Three Simple Words"   4:39
12. "Ender"   13:28
13. "What It Is to Burn"   4:29
UK bonus tracks
No. Title Length
14. "Letters to You (acoustic)"   3:40
15. "What It Is to Burn (demo)"   4:51

Chart Positions[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
Heatseekers [6] 9
Billboard 200 [7] 99
Top Internet Albums [8] 4



  1. ^ a b c d e "Allmusic review". Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Sputnik review". 27 June 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Punktastic Review". 11 March 2002. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  4. ^ UG Team (July 25, 2003). "What It Is to Burn Review | Finch | Compact Discs | Reviews". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Kelham 2013, p. 42
  6. ^ "Chart Positions". Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chart Positions". Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Chart Positions". Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  • Kelham, Andrew (April 2013). Patashnik, Ben, ed. "Hall of Fame: What It Is to Burn". Rock Sound (London: Freeway Press Inc.) (172). ISSN 1465-0185.