domenica 14 febbraio 2010

Six By Seven "04"

Se fra i primi quattro album dei 6 by 7 devo trovare il meno convincente, beh, dico questo, ma lo dico sempre sottovoce e in punta di piedi e pensandoci mille volte. Però risentendolo in questi giorni ci sono alcuni punti che non mi convincono o forse che mi stancano per ripetitività o per un già sentito dal gruppo stesso, cosa che non accadeva nei precedenti lavori. Però, il livello è sempre altissimo. (2004 Saturday Night Sunday Morning)

Since a rather brilliant debut album, Nottingham's Six.By Seven have only been sporadically great. Clearly some kind of rethink was necessary in order to win back old fans and possibly draw in new ones as well. The result is '04', by some distance, their most commercial offering yet; striving to soar in the anthemic/melancholic big league which Doves started the trend for at the turn of the century. This means dense, powerful production and breast beating choruses to capture the hearts and minds of men in their 30s. In many hands this approach would seem hamfisted but Six.By Seven are older and wiser enough to make it work. The second track 'Sometimes I Feel Like' - featuring huge, pounding drums, buzzsawing guitar riffs and a defiant chorus - sets the agenda for what is to come. Perhaps the hero is Chris Olley who manages to make his vocals heard above the cacophony. 'Say That You Want Me' runs parallel to the rock and roll drone of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and is 'Catch The Rain' Six By Seven's own snarling take on Doves' 'Catch The Sun'? It's a shame that there a few moments where the noise is huge but the hook is missing and no one needs to hear 'Leave Me Alone'; basically ten minutes of pure drone. The best moment is saved for 'Bochum (Light Up My Life)', the first single and - for its immense chorus alone - it was a good choice. Sadly, the record buying public begged to differ but even though much of '04' seems second hand in comparison to previous efforts, it's also probably their second best album. (

After three wonderful but undeservedly obscure albums on the Mantra label, for Six by Seven's fourth release, the now-trio went the self-released route on the Saturday Night Sunday Morning label, which bandleader Chris Olley used for his later efforts as Twelve. 04 is not quite a transitional release but acts more as a catchall, pulling together tracks from a variety of sessions that often have a rougher and more stripped-down feeling than the often majestic albums that preceded it. No question that the band's ambition remained intact, though, as the barnburning Motorik crunch "Untitled" which starts the album makes clear. Meantime, when 04

totally turns up the volume it does so full-on -- "Sometimes I Feel Like..." has instrumental breaks which could knock a wall down, while "Catch the Rain" ranks with the best of their should-have-been anthems. Flashes of non-rock touches turn up at various points, thus the sitar (or sitar-like) melody that forms the core of the excellent "Ocean," but mostly this is Six by Seven doing what they have always done so well -- demonstrating that a well-established sound and format can be as thrilling and driving as ever it was. Even when some of the songs have a slightly more pedestrian feeling, as the blues-rock chug of "Say That You Want Me" shows, something like a brilliant Olley vocal performance, yearning and sharp, turns the tide. And when Olley delivers the chorus of "Bochum (Light Up My Life)" in particular, he makes a phrase pounded into horrible death by Debby Boone turn into one of the most life-affirming things around. Sometimes that's all one needs. (Ned Raggett -

- "... ... ... ..."
- Sometimes I Feel Like...
- Ready For You Now
- Ocean
- Say That You Want Me
- Lude 1
- There's A Ghost
- Catch The Rain
- Bochum (Light Up My Life)
- Lude 2
- Leave Me Alone
- Hours


1 commento: