Seven That Spells - Terminus Est (Future Retro Spasm, 2010)
When I started this blog, I specifically told myself that it wasn’t a blog about new music. There are a lot of those, some of them really good (no slight to any I didn’t link to in that series of three—they popped to mind). I think I just didn’t want the pressure, you know? This is a release valve, a place I can come to blow out as many words as feels appropriate about whatever I feel like talking about. And I don’t want to have to constantly be searching for things to feature here. So yeah, not a new music blog.
But Every Great Song Ever is a big tent, and ever includes right now, so every once in a while I might toss out something new that I think might be in danger of being overlooked (by whom is a valid question—let’s not worry about it).
You know who tends to get overlooked? Bands like Seven That Spells. Hell, I’ve been guilty of overlooking them—I got a promo of theirs once, saw all the naked ladies on the cover and filed it in the out bin (When you get about 400 physical promos a year, you do this because you have to. You can’t listen to all of it.). I wish I’d given it a spin, because this, from an LP they released earlier this year, just about caved my skull in when I heard it.
Other reasons this band might get overlooked: they’re instrumental, they’re Croatian, and they’re on Beta-Lactam Ring Records, which is a great label with a really loyal clientele that gets very little notice outside that clientele, in spite of lavishing their releases with some truly great packaging.
Anyway, this sounds like some unholy but wholly awesome mix of Mahavishnu Orchestra, mid-70s King Crimson and a collapsing star, and deserves an airing outside its home in Zagreb. Which, now that I mention it, has produced a lot of good hard rock bands—during the Yugoslavia years, Croatia seems to have maintained a real creative identity for itself. It has a good indie rock scene now, too—the Bambi Molesters and My Buddy Moose come to mind. Check Drugi Nacin for some kick-ass old-school Croat rock.
And these guys. Apparently, this band has featured more than 50 different members in its time. They were a quartet of bass, drums, sax and guitar here, and their interplay is just freaking molten.They do such a good job of bottling the tension in the arrangement and then releasing it in torrents. It pulls you along like undertow.
This stuff scratches a really specific itch I get now and then. I don’t really listen to a ton of heavy music, which is part accident and part by design, but now and then I need a sick odd-metered groove and a bit of bone-pulverizing bass. The feeling usually passes after blasting a few tracks like this. But it’s fun while it lasts.