Six By Seven – The Way I Feel Today

Six By Seven
The Way I Feel Today

Filled with aggression and armed with guitars, the four men of Six By Seven let it all hang out on their third album, The Way I Feel Today. Sometimes the result is pretty, and sometimes it’s a little ugly. Sometimes it’s astounding, and sometimes it’s uneventful, but it is always cleverly blending British indie roots with a big wall of modern guitar rock. With influences and comparisons ranging from Radiohead to the Clash to My Bloody Valentine, the band has quite a range to it, both musically and lyrically. There are the whispy pop songs and the fast-paced punk outbursts, or there are songs about the beauty of love and those about misery and self-loathing.
Sounding on this album as though they could easily compete with many of their better known comrades from across the sea, Six By Seven are far from being mere copies of the British bands you’re used to hearing about these days, but there are certainly moments worthy of comparison. The fuzzy and heavy bass mixed with the building piano line, wall of guitars, and emotional yet apathetic vocals make the excellent opener, “So Close,” sound a bit like earlier and more straightforward Radiohead, while the acoustic-tinged and breezy pop vibe of “All My New Best Friends” wouldn’t sound out of place in a Coldplay or Travis setlist. That particular song, however, is quickly countered by the snotty Clash-esque punk burst of “Flypaper For Freaks.”
The almost sickeningly sweet “I.O.U. Love” seems primed for radio airplay and stands out as a little misplaced amongst the other heavier songs on this album, while the shouts and reverb-drenched guitars of “Speed is In, Speed is Out” give you the opportunity to thrash around and bang your head a bit, starting what appears to be the grittier second half of the album. The bone-rattling bassline of “Karen O” is a bit much for the rather uneventful tune, followed by “American Beer,” a slowly building and sprawling epic of sorts that shows off the sneering anger that flows consistently throughout the vocals. “Anyway” and “The Way I Feel Today” tend to just plod along without any sort of peaks or valleys, as does “Cafeteria Rats,” but with a bit more spite, and closing things out is the more frantic punk of “Bad Man.”
There are definitely hints of genius here, but there are also moments worthy of passing over. It seems as if The Way We Feel Today is a major catharsis, but some of the energy released via the exorcising of whatever demons the band may have tends to be lacking in direction or purpose. If the excellence of the opening track, “So Close,” could have been carried out through the remainder of the album, this could have been an amazing album, but it isn’t, and so instead the effort is just plain good.