06 Mar 2022 - Ajay
Post-Metal | Willowtip | Release date: 07 Jan 2022
It is somewhat upsetting when something has been happening behind your back for a long period of time. What am I upset about? What is this betrayal I have been subjected to? I’ll let you in on my shame… Seven Nines and Tens has been active since 2008 and I only heard of them for the first time in this year. 2022. I thought I had my finger on the pulse!
Coming out of Vancouver in 2008, with a self-released full-length debuting in 2011, Seven Nines and Tens straddle quite a few of the “distorted guitar” genres. January of 2022 saw the release of full-length album number three, in the form of Over Opiated In a Forest of Whispering Speakers.
My first exposure to this album, and this band, was with album opener “Popular Delusions”. The song kicks in with a country blues twang before singer/guitarist David Cotton’s vocals kick in with a latter-period Alice in Chains-layered vocal track. In many ways, it is very reminiscent of Jerry Cantrell’s latest Brighten or AiC’s last album Rainier Fog. The vocals remain clean across the track, and the album for that matter, though musically it progresses in to shoegazy post-metal riffage underpinned by a very tight rhythm section. It is very easy when mixing an album like this for the rhythm section to be too high or too low in the mix. Thankfully that is not the case with the mix on this release, by Adam Vee, letting the instruments breath. The drums of Drew Christie, and bass of Riley McGuire, are allowed to cut through without being overpowering, and showcase some very progressive playing throughout.
Listening to the album puts me in a melancholic state, but a welcome one. The state one wants to be in when they listen to a My Bloody Valentine record. And, at a tight 37 minute run time, this album never overstays it’s welcome, and there are no b-side fillers. The longest track, the album closer “Sunshine”, runs at 6 minutes 40 seconds and for the first 2 minutes 30 seconds it could be mistaken for an Elliot Smith song before a huge riff crashes in, that then being washed away with some proggy jazz chords, then back to the huge riff et al.
Interestingly the album came out on the Willowtip label, best known for a myriad of grindcore and death metal acts. I hope the signing of Seven Nines and Tens shows the label is branching into some more experimental music within the metal genres. Further to that, do not let the cover art, band logo, and album title deceive you into thinking that Seven Nines and Tens are a metalcore, mathcore or sasscore band.