Seven Nines And Tens – Over Opiated In A Forest Of Whispering Speakers
Release Date: 07.01.22
Running Time: 36:24
Review by Dark Juan
Hello, my hordes of beautiful people, starfuckers and the wall-eyed, vain and insane. So, with considerable surprise, I find I have successfully navigated another lap of Sol without physical injury although I was never right in the head so I couldn’t possibly comment on my general state of mind. I assume it is what passes for normal in the headspace of Dark Juan, being as it is riven with black thoughts, crude sexual deviancy and a total disregard for any form of reality that doesn’t involve large calibre weaponry, and my good self operating it. Although I would settle for a trusty longsword and hew my way through my enemies with gay and carefree abandon. Slaughter always cheers me up…
I must apologise for the lack of amusing content from me lately. I had hit something of a barren patch in writing, and couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to write anything for quite a while, but I appear to have got hold of myself and given myself a bloody good talking to. I do so love having dodgy mental health. Which leads me to exhort you all, if you are feeling low, depressed or suicidal, to contact people and talk to them about it. Samaritans are there for a non-judgemental reason. And if you’re a fella, then get hold of Andy’s Man Club or something, because, and let’s not put too fine a point on it, mental health issues are pernicious, sneaky motherfuckers and they play merry hell with you. Far better to access therapies and get them the fuck out of your system than try to struggle through them. It does not show weakness, and it does not mean you are weak, ladies, gentlemen and gentlepersons, to ask for help. Man is not an island. Neither is woman, although an island of women is an appealing thought…
Enough of my exhortations. This is a record review, and I am currently listening to Sevens Nines and Tens, with the wonderfully titled “Over Opiated in a Forest of Whispering Speakers”. This Canadian trio have not passed my dubious interest before and it is with anticipation and excitement I am listening. Especially considering that they themselves have claimed that they wish to release “…One of the finest metal albums of 2022”. Lofty intentions indeed, but let’s see whether they can back this up with the music, shall we?
Opening the album with ‘Popular Delusions’, the band cruise into the song with chiming guitar overlaying a classic rock riff and simple drumming, and all the fuzz and phaser a psychedelic loving acid freak could ever desire, before a soft, beguiling vocal dripping with honeyed harmonies reaches out to caress your avid lugholes, and the guitar and bass thicken up to a meaty, fuzzy tone not out of place on a seriously psychedelic stoner metal record. The middle eight changes tone and speed before the song comes crashing back into your attention and the whole thing is a dreamy, navel contemplating piece of post-everything. Until the last minute of the song where everything descends into fuzz soup and nothing is distinct apart from the vocal. I can hear Post-Hardcore, Post-Punk, Post-Metal, Post-Prog and Post-Rock, forming into a dreamlike Ambient Shoegaze that reminds this silly old fool of the likes of Porcupine Tree, a less heavy version of French bruisers Rostres, the early releases of Sugar, Soldat Hans, (several songs on this record remind me of “Schoener Zerbirst Part 1” and Quantum Pig). What does make Sevens Nines and Tens different is the singing. All three members of the bands sing on this album, and their harmonies are jaw-droppingly splendid and tighter than the multiplicious arses of an entire armada of ducks. ‘Midnight Marauders’ is a fine example of this, where the vocal overlays some incredible, Bob Mould-like guitar work in the heavier sections and flits ethereally over somber, slow acoustic passages. It is also the song that is the most post-everything on the album, if you know what I mean. It’s got some seriously chewy guitar, but retains a dreamlike quality. ‘Let’s Enjoy The Aimless Days While We Can’ is a schizoid switcher between Post-Hardcore and almost classical parts, with the distortion abruptly giving way to gentle echoing guitar and switching back again but with a wonderfully emotive guitar solo four minutes in that segues itself into a melody finely underpinning the vocals.
The record is not without issues, however. The production is absolutely fine until you have the band speed up slightly, in which case the richness of the sound descends into a thick gluey mess. And the snare sound is not unlike someone twatting a piece of plyboard with a hammer. The bass drum sound is massively epic though. ‘Edutainment’ suffers from this prodigious bottom end when the song accelerates and all you get through your cans is egregious subsonic thumping. However, I would contend that this is the heaviest song on the record and it adds a certain dynamic which the album lacks in parts. The sound of the record is almost TOO SAFE. There are times when it seems that Sevens Nines and Tens are teetering on the brink of absolutely letting rip and tearing your face off and then they dial it all back in a disgracefully prick-teasing fashion. I want massively tumescent violence as well as being beguiled. The vocals, as magnificent as they are, also have moments when it sounds simply like the lead singer has been multitracked, all three gentlemen having quite similar voices.
These are minor niggles though. The record as a full body of work is gloriously crafted, tightly written and very entertaining, even if there are parts where the band are too clever for their own good, and deliberately chop a growing (and extremely groovy) vibe off in favour of noodling. I do approve of the dreamlike, aching quality that pervades the whole album and I enjoyed the nods towards Classic Rock that peek through the clouds of perfumed psychedelia and post-insert-your-chosen-genre-here. In short, it’s a bloody good record (album closer ‘Sunshine’ throws some mental Jazz in there in the manner of French genre benders Baron Crâne, who you all know I think are utterly wonderful) that has some minor quality control issues. Sevens Nines and Tens stand on the brink of something incredibly special, but they need to take that last step.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards a stonking 8/10 for a record of supreme but flawed loveliness, that will be being played on long, lonely journeys through the night very often indeed.
01. Popular Delusions
02. Throwing Rocks At Mediocrity
03. Midnight Marauders
04. Let’s Enjoy The Aimless Days While We Can
06. Fight For Your Right To Partial Relevance
David Cotton – Guitar/Vocals
Maximillian Madrus – Bass
Alexander Glassford – Drums
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