Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Six Going On Seven

Six Going On Seven- Self-Made Mess

A band with a sonic blueprint that stood out in a town full of cut rate metal and emo bands: songs weren’t driven by guitar so much as they were punctuated by it, mostly clean chords or, more often, runs of picked notes which fit over and emphasized Josh’s driving, occasionally atonally (k)new wave-sounding basslines and Will’s drumming. All a musical platform for these amazing lyrics, delivered in charmingly hoarse fashion, which alternate easily between situational and confessional, heart on sleeve but never cloyingly so- literate, svelte pop songs that all the kids at the shows knew the words to, downright anthemic when everyone in the dimly lit room was dancing like American Bandstand chanting “Happiness is method acting.”

MIX TAPE: Sincerely

Six Going On Seven- Heartbreak’s Got Backbeat

I thought they had nailed it on their first album. I saw a bunch of shows, got to know the new songs, which were just as charming and accelerated as the old ones. Right on, I thought.

When the new record dropped, though, it didn’t click as much as I had hoped. The forays into slower material didn’t sit well with me- I liked the modern-day Tom Petty vibe the band put across, the everyman thing. Slowing it down into powerballadry? No, thanks. And how about the sonics? The guitars, all of the sudden, were way up in the mix, drowning out the rhythm section, the MVP’s of the first one.

Despite everything, a few songs stood out: “How To Sell the Brooklyn Bridge”, “New/Improved!” Didn’t get as many spins as the debut, skipped a bunch of songs every time I listened to the disc.

Six Going On Seven- American’t (Or Won’t)

‘Heartbreak’s Got Backbeat’ has always felt a bit rushed to me, pieced together and lacking cohesion (to say nothing of the change of sound). ‘American’t’ is even more produced, has more obvious studio trickery than anything the band had done to that point. I think it’s a much better record than their sophomore effort, like they got over the growing pains of change and decided that they’d be comfortable going for it, damn the punks. ‘Maybe’ sounds like it could have been on any ol’ alternative radio station, such are the slickness and the hooks. A shame that no one noticed.

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