Back in the early '80s, after the initial batch of ska revival bands, it wasn't all that unusual for pop bands to include an adjunct horn section. (Think of Haircut 100, Adam Ant's first couple of solo albums, or Oingo Boingo.) The members of Cleveland's ReasonSeven seem to remember those early days of MTV clearly, as elements of all of those bands -- plus Fishbone, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and, somewhat worryingly, No Doubt -- are all over their debut album. The problem is that most of the songs (15 of 'em, at least five too many) have few merits of their own, either lyrically or melodically, and the band's playing is entirely competent but not particularly inspired. ReasonSeven doesn't aim to be anything more than a good goofy time -- the Dictators-like "Money and Chicks" is something of a credo -- but too often, it misses the mark. (The ultra lo-fi and way too long bonus track, which sounds like a half-baked Big Black riff, was a particularly bad idea.) The main exception is the nervy new wave of "Fluoride," a quirky jitterbug that recalls A Certain Ratio's early singles and is easily the best song on the album.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason