Review by Rick Ossian
Hailing from London, Seven7 are on their third record this time around, following 2009’s Try Something Different and 2011’s Under Eye. They are Dave Brown on vocals and percussion, Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier (lead AND rhythm), Arran McSporran on fretless bass, Luke Nelson on drums and percussion and their latest edition, Sally Jo on electric violin. She evidently joined after the most recent recording.
The tunes on this particular outing are fairly lengthy and all sport decent musicianship. For example, on opener Palms we are treated to a very heavy, slamming intro with bursts of lead and vocals. The singing is slightly growly but is intelligible. I was reminded on several occasions of Metallica (particularly James Hetfield‘s singing). There are also some hellish drum rolls and the occasional double-bass slam included.
Free boasts a cool guitar slam at the outset, and brief pieces of lead guitar work (:25 and 1:50). There is a shift on a mission (1:45), if you will, to a more uptempo piece, and more leads throughout. Lyrically there was an interesting couplet or two as well: “How to give/how to take/how to not make the same mistakes again“. Some really decent guitar work on here.
Fall is a medium-tempo rocker with a powerful drum intro. This soon gives way to riff-heavy rock, and even heavy metal. This is VERY heavy stuff, with some overtime bass work going on also. I found myself digging the bass groove very much. At 3:20 we are graced with a subdued, bluesy lead.
The title track is another uptempo rocker, bordering on heavy metal, with some busy bass work again. The chiming guitar effect in the background mix gets a bit annoying at times, but that was about the only real complaint I would have. The infamous atmospheric guitar intro makes an appearance here as well as several lead guitar bits, a spoken word/rap section, and slamming guitar, bass and drums all around. There is also a wickedly cool guitar bit at the close.
Magic Box is another heavy slammer with a good groove and is mainly uptempo heavy metal. There are some very cool guitar parts (:30, 3:45, 4:25), and some incredibly good bass playing. I was again reminded (vocally) of Metallica, which happened several times during the listening of this recording. “The magic box is evil!“, bellows Dave at one point, which I think we all already knew, but perhaps we had to be reminded. The ending features a nice build-up to a final slam, which is done with a few of the tracks on here.
Business is a bit longer (just shy of 7 minutes), but is well executed, with a spacey intro and a sort of heavy-slamming skate punk/rap mixed with psych. I was reminded of Metallica (again) and Suicidal Tendencies. The lyrics mainly focused on the “I don’t give a fuck about ____” refrain. At the four-minute mark there is an instrumental breakdown of sorts and some tribal drumming. There is also an excellent lead guitar part (4:40), and another big build-up at the end. Very nicely done.
Euthanasia includes more tribal drumming and monks chanting, both at the intro and during the meat of the song. The big bad rhythms kick in at :25 and again at 1:35, then towards the end we hear the chanting in the mix again. The chanting may have been a bit overdone. Why, the closing track, is a longer number, just shy of nine minutes, and begins life with an Indian-style raga guitar intro. It is very atmospheric. Things kick in at :50, and the bass and drums are VERY busy. A tempo shift (1:55) leads us to the vocals arriving (2:00), and there are are guitar solos at the four-and-a-half minute mark and more at 5:45. At six minutes in, there is a bass solo, and a bloody good one, at that! At 7:25 there is a final instrumental wig-out, and a neat guitar piece at the close. Though they can be somewhat derivative, Seven7 have, for the most part, carved out their own sound. These eight tracks are pretty well done and deserve another listen.