Six by Seven

The Way I Feel Today

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Though co-founding member/guitarist Sam Hempton quit the band before The Way I Feel Today was composed and recorded, Six by Seven still glower and buzz here as much as they always have. If they've lost their distinctive sound to an extent, their experimentation, at the sake of relatively clear influences, is interesting in and of itself. The all-out wall of noise is still firmly in place. But this time, the wall has a heavy shoegazer foundation and its graffiti is that of layered proto-punk grunge. The album's highlights just happen to be the songs that easily call out their influences. "So Close" sounds like Radiohead meeting My Bloody Valentine; its melodic piano and dire keyboards gel with bombastic, feedback-heavy guitars. "Speed Is In, Speed Is Out" recalls the raging moments on Nevermind where Nirvana aped Killing Joke. "Karen O" suggests shoegazer punk, its superb fuzz dynamics and smart use of dissonance pick up the pieces from early Mercury Rev or Swervedriver. One thing is certain, and it's that Olley has spent much time listening to the Jesus & Mary Chain, because when the band gets into a groove, it seems wholly influenced by the brothers Reid. There are enough songs here that fit into the mold of their past glories, but because the band experiments with styles so often, the album ultimately feels like a transition piece. Still, many listeners might find it an interesting proposition to hear a band as sonically exciting as Six by Seven filtering their influences.

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