BEC Records New Rock Band is Eager to Sound Familiar
Posted September 27, 2011
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
7eventh Time Down has emerged from BEC Records to join the myriad of rock artists clamoring for attention in the Christian music scene. Absurd use of the number in their name aside, the band seems to go out of their way to not set themselves too far apart from fellow rock acts, while being careful to not imitate any one enough to be accused of being a copycat.
The album starts, surprisingly, with a more mellow rock track in “I Need Someone.” The track is reasonably strong and seems created for radio play. It’s not at all a bad start, even if it isn’t terribly innovative or terribly attention grabbing. The album’s first single and title track is next. It’s among the best and most memorable of the bunch, and is a strong fit for radio. Next up is “What About Tonight,” another radio-ready rock track in the vein of the title track. The riffs, raspy vocals and Southern flair help make them enjoyable enough, even a little bit unique.
After this is where the album begins to hit a bit of a snag. It’s not that the next few tracks are at all bad; they just grow less and less memorable. The power ballad feel of “Get Me To You” fits well enough, but then “World Changer” follows with an even mellower sound and a cliché message to boot. It’s actually not that bad. If the album followed with higher quality tracks, this track would probably be a lot more forgivable. Alas, being a better cut on the slim 10-track listing, it’s evidentiary of the overall decline of the album, as it doesn’t get much better from here. “Do You Believe” is probably the last truly enjoyable rock track on the album. While not as strong as the opening tracks, it’s a return to the rock that provides some enjoyable riffs.
The next track is when things go from moderately decent to mediocre. While “Jesus Machine” isn’t all that bad musically, lyrically, it ends up being a cheesy mess of a track that really takes away from the listening experience. The story is similar with “Love Parade,” up next. “Worship Jesus” is as obvious and predictable as it’s name implies. (Even more so than the rest of the tracks, which already pretty much give away the entire song before you even hear the words) The album closes with its most mellow track yet in “Rusty Nails.” Enjoyable and fresh, the moving song about Our Lord’s crucifixion sends the album out on a higher note than was probably expected given the low-quality tracks of the tracks preceding it.
I probably come off a lot more critical than I feel, because the album is overall an enjoyable enough listen. I suppose the 10-track listing makes the mediocre tracks a lot more dominating and the drop-off in quality in the second half considerably more noticeable. There were also several places I sensed 7TD trying to sound like somebody else, such as moments where the singer sounded like Chris Daughtry, for example. Coupled with some predictable lyrics, this makes for a fairly underwhelming, albeit still enjoyable, debut.
All in all, the album was pretty much what I expected after hearing the first single over the summer – an average rock release with some cool tunes ready for radio, some passable tunes that are pleasant enough, and some forgettable tunes with enough clichés to seriously weigh the album, and therefore the band, down from true greatness. This is quite regrettable too, as the high moments on the album do indicate the potential for something much better. Hopefully on subsequent releases, the band will better be able to tap into their potential, instead of keeping it confined to just a few tracks.
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