Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Seven's dance-rock fits in with the best of the genre

January 18, 2010

I’ve had a spate of number bands recently. I reviewed TiLT 360 the other day, I recently reviewed Black Heart Procession’s Six, and now I’ve got a double dose in reviewing The Fifth by Seven. I’m not really sure what causes people to name their band a number, but it seems to have no effect whatsoever on their music, as all of these bands are great at what they do.

Seven’s dark, danceable rock would have been lumped in with Killers, the Bravery and Interpol, had they erupted around the turn of the century. If Hot Fuss-era Killers had added a female singer and swung more toward the “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” side of than the “All These Things That I’ve Done” side, they would have become Seven.  The rattling high-hat, synths,  upbeat tempos and epic melodies are all there.

Vocalist Annette Gil has a low voice for a girl, and it fits the sound perfectly. Her voice draws power from the low, gritty guitars that comprise most of the backdrop of this album. It draws contrast and tension from the high synths that often juxtapose with the guitars. That give and take is what forms the basis of almost all Seven songs. And, from top to bottom, that’s a great thing.

From the stomping anthem “Dance Dance Dance” to the mid-tempo “Blackburn” to the punked-out “Sickleave,” Seven blazes through thirteen songs without ever letting the energy drop. There are guitar-driven tracks like rocker “Peace and Lovin,” so-much-synth-it-might-be-the-eighties tracks like “No Ambition” and even unexplainable tracks like “Elements,” which starts off like a spaghetti western and ends up being an oddball pop song.

This album is a must-hear for people who love synth-driven rock with a dance bent and anthemic tendencies. There’s a lot of that going around these days, but Seven’s carved out a niche and written songs that stick, even in a genre full of excellent songwriters. I

Addison Park-Seven

November 1, 2006

addisonparkBand: Addison Park
Album: Seven
Best Element: Great harmonies, catchy riffs
Genre: Pop punk
Website: http://www.purevolume.com/addisonpark/
Label: Self-Released
Contact: Swiveljet@aol.com

Pop punk is a genre that has been played to its core. Hundreds of bands have emerged from garages in the suburbs of America to make a sound that slightly tweaks or maybe even improves on the methods of the Fall Out Boys and the New Found Glories of the world. So what’s so different about Addison Park, a group of guys from ‘burbs of Chicago, and their early 2006 release Seven?

What really stands out on a couple of tracks that set the band apart from most other bands in their genre are Danny Casady’s ‘80s-tastic but still very intriguing keyboard parts. It is especially prevalent on the almost-too-catchy track “Apperception.”
Okay, so maybe the boys have some cliché lyrics (“One / You could hate me / Two / You could love me / On the count of three I could give you my reasons to die”). The majority of their lyrics follow the same pattern, with lots of tears and hearts and love and hate and pain. That is definitely the Park’s weak point.

However, where the band lacks in original lyrical themes, they make up threefold with their riffs. When Glenn Eck’s guitar isn’t rocking out to its fullest potential, songs like “While You Sleep,” “This Time Last February,” and “Amor Vincit Omnia” have more chill, but still very intricately done, guitar parts. Brian Weber’s vocals in each song are also something to be envied by other suburbanites that try for a career in punk music.

The album may only have seven songs, but it’s actually quite innovative for its genre. With a sound that’s very crisp, it’s hard to believe that these guys aren’t on a major label.

-Evan Minsker
Resident Rockologist
Waldofan13@aol.com

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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