Sometimes i sit and look at the promo requests and feel intrigued by a promo in a way i can't
put my finger on. Such is the case with Seven Nines and Tens, who their press material assured me
blended "Post Rock, Post Metal, Shoegaze and Indie Rock." So -- lots of guitars. Okay, i can deal with
that. But there was something else there, something nagging at the back of my mindů
I downloaded the record and gave it a spin. I don't know about calling this post-metal or indie rock,
because what this Canadian trio are doing seems to fall towards the heavier end of post-rock, like they
had grown up listening to a lot of Mogwai. That's cool.
And it is a pretty good record. I tried to think of things to say, something a little more than, "They
sound like mid-era Mogwai."
Then, one day while riding the Freedom Path home to my condo from the office, a random song lyric
wandered through my consciousness:
"I found her out back sitting naked looking up and looking dead.
A crumpled yellow piece of paper, with seven nines and tens."
And that was it. What had been nagging away at the back of my consciousness was this: this band
takes their name from Stars, the big hit by 1990s harder indie band Hum. I loved Hum, and
still have all three of their albums plus an EP. Malimus and i even went to see them in a packed out
Cotton Club, back when the Cotton Club was on Peachtree across from what is now the Federal Reserve
So, holy blap: someone else liked Hum too. In fact, someone liked them enough to steal a lyric to
name their band. Huh. I wonder if they cover Stars in concert? How about I'd Prefer Your
Hair Long or If You Are To Bloom?
Wow, just wow. Okay, that i'll stop geeking out now about this strange connection to 15 years ago.
Let's talk about this band.
They are a trio from Vancouver BC. A good old-fashioned power trio: guitar, bass, and drums. Their
music is loud and fast and complex, and instrumental. This is an instrumental rock album made by three
people who really know their instruments and expect that their listeners will enjoy hearing them play.
But look at the song listing. The lead off track is called Thermocapsulary Dehousing Assister (which is something George Lucas mentioned offhand to some of his fans), Crystalline
Xanthine Alkaloid (the class of chemicals that includes caffeine), Saga of Butyric Fermentation
(a type of decomposition in dead animals), and Famke Jannsenn (she was Jean Grey / Phoenix in
the X-Men movies). And let's forget to mention that they use a Star Trek font for the lettering on the album cover! In short -- a whole lot of nerdishness.
This is a very nerdy record. The target audience is probably males aged 16 to 25 who spend a lot
of time alone with their guitar. And for what it is, it is not bad. Seven Nines and Tens do this stuff fairly
well. Their songs ebb and flow, suddenly becoming metalish, at other times meandering slowly.
To be honest, i have a dozen records that sound almost exactly like this. It is not the best of them,
nor is it the worst. If you like guitar-driven post-rock that is slightly on the heavier side, then this would
be a good choice. If you don't care for that kind of thing, then you'll probably want to avoid it.
If you are a Hum fan, you probably will like this.