Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Shade Seven Antenna

September 11, 2003

Shade Seven isn’t a very descriptive name. Some bands can instantly be placed in the correct genre just by hearing their name. It’s a good bet “The Death Ratchet Brigadeers” are going to be some form of metal. It’s also safe to say “Skies Are Greenish” will be a poppy, quirky band. But Shade Seven is a nondescript name, emitting no solid genre ideas. Therefore, it means that EVERYONE should check them out!

By the end of the first song, it’s obvious that Shade Seven is a pop/rock band that prides themselves on artistic merit and not how many fans mosh at their concerts. Their music is not shoegazer pop, but it has a  dreamier feel than your average pop/rock band. That first song is called “Montclair Parc” and it has an average amount of everything. It’s medium tempo, not the fastest, but not the slowest song on the album. It’s not the most passionate, but it’s not the least, either. It’s just a very nice intro to the CD. A less full sound appears next on “Distant Fireworks”. The vocals take a bigger part in this song, and they succeed, because “Distant Fireworks” sounds much more pointed than the “Montclair Parc” does, while still keeping the dreamy pop groove. This band has a definite affection for the guitar solo. All five of these songs feature one in some place. They aren’t showy or massive, just little countermelodies or extra melodies that enhance the songs oh-so-well. A fast-paced, almost punk intro blasts us into “Forget July”. They downgrade into more dream-pop for the verses, but rock it out for the chorus. With a lot of variation, this song is one of their best. “Through the Tape” continues the trend towards punk. It’s not quite punk….but it’s very close. The solo here is the best out of all five. The closer (“Redwood”) returns to the feel of “Distant Fireworks”, with a hint of anthem mentality evident in the chorus.

Shade Seven isn’t out to rock your face off. They’re out to impress you with their musicality, soothe you with their melody, and make you smile because of the delicate beauty it possesses. And, not coincidentally, Shade Seven impresses, soothes, and makes you smile. There’s not much to dislike here, unless some music gets “Too Quiet for You”.




Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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