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Six By Seven

British fivesome Six by Seven emerged with the rest of the early '90s shoegazer pack that included bands like Ride and Swervedriver, but failed to generate any label attention until they were finally able to self-release their debut single ("European Me") in late 1997. The sensational success of the single in the U.K. enabled Six by Seven to put out a full-length at last: 1998's The Things We Make. They followed this up with 2000's exhaustingly intense The Closer You Get.

Six by Seven continues to demonstrate a predilection for the glorious, swirling walls of sound that distinguish shoegazer rock, but the band has become a much more complicated (and interesting) creature with the passage of time. You'll hear the hypnotic, spacey drone of Spiritualized and the brooding technophobia of Radiohead collide with the violent power of punk and heavy rock. In other words, Six By Seven creates tons of atmosphere with layers of white noise, feedback-drenched guitar, and bass fuzz, and then gets violently angry in the middle of it all. But there are also moments of thoughtful introspection, despair, and even fragile beauty throughout. Six By Seven draws on a broad musical vocabulary to do a surprising number of things in the course of a song.

Founding member guitarist Sam Hempton left prior to the recording of Six by Seven's third album, 2002's The Way I Feel Today, leaving the others to continue on as a quartet. Despite that change, the group's familar sound remains essentially intact. Towering walls of sound rise above a droning shoegazer base, coming across as fuzzy, melodic, and forceful. The songs may be a bit more focused than in the past, and there are some genre experiments which diverge from the basic power rock formula, but when the group does choose to do power rock, it's just as righteous as ever.

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