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The Way I Feel Today

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Album Review

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.


Formed: 1991 in Nottingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

British drone-pop quintet Six by Seven was formed in Nottingham, England in 1991 by singer/guitarist Chris Olley, guitarist Sam Hempton, organist James Flower, bassist Paul Douglas and drummer Chris Davis. Initial buzz on the band was strong, but after a disastrous Leicester gig all label interest seemed to dissipate, forcing Six by Seven to self-release their debut single, "European Me," in the autumn of 1997. Hailed as "one of the all-time great debut singles" by the NME, the record sold out in...
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The Way I Feel Today, Six by Seven
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