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Six By Seven - Artists, Cannibals, Poets, Thieves

  by John Clarkson

published: 6 / 5 / 2005

Six By Seven - Artists, Cannibals, Poets, Thieves
Label: Saturday Night Sunday Morning
Format: CD


Abrasive, but boldly experimental fifth album from Nottingham indie rockers, Six by Seven, who remain defiantly uncompromising

At a first glance at the sleeve of their fifth and latest album, 'Artists, Cannibals, Poets, Thieves', and its track listing which includes such titles as 'All I Really Want from You is Love', 'Nowhere to Go But Home' and 'You Know I Feel Alright Now', one might be fooled into thinking that Six by Seven have finally mellowed out. The Nottingham-based guitar/keyboard rockers have garnished a reputation over their previous four albums for being uncompromising. Much of their music has had an abrasive, acerbic edge, and in Chris Olley they have had an intelligent frontman, but one who, whether he has been venting his spleen at government dishonesty, celebrity culture or more often than not himself, has become known for being confrontational. 'O4', which came out last year and which was their first studio album on their own Saturday Night Sunday Morning label, showed a mild softening in mood, and was psychedelic in tone. 'Artists, Cannibals, Poets, Thieves' is Six by Seven's second album to be recorded as a three piece after the departure of bass player Paul Douglas shortly before '04', but the first to be produced without any bass parts, and finds the remaining trio of Olley (vocals, guitars) ; Chris Davis (drums) and James Flowers (organ, keyboards) broadening their parameters yet further. The lack of bass has given them a greater fluidity.There are further moments of fuzzy psychedelia which recall Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized ; guttural dirges which are reminiscent of the Cure of 'Pornography', and passages of heavy industrial sound which recollect Nine Inch Nails. With Olley's buzzsaw guitars and distorted, rasping vocals ; Davis' sledgehammer beats, and Flowers' spiralling keyboards, Six by Seven, however, carry much of their own also. 'Artists, Cannibals, Poets, Thieves' tells of the burn out and collapse of a love affair "I don't want to frighten you/fight with you or mistreat you/All I want is you to feel my love to keep you warm" sings Olley, amidst scuzzed out washes of guitar, on 'All I Really Want from You is Love', the album's hazy, cavernous-sounding opener. Any attempt at tenderness, however, doesn't last. "Well, I'm Chaos baby, you gotta hand it to me" he rages, mid-point in the album, at his ex-lover about to plead with her to give their relationship another go on the furious, self-loathing jangling punk of 'Tonight (I Wanna Make It Out)'. There is no happy ending though. "It takes a whole lot of loving to find your way" Olley concludes mournfully after it is all over, knowing that he has screwed up and is to blame for the romance's end, on the sinister, chattering electronica of the album's final number, the part ironic 'You Know I Feel Alright Now'. While their sound has broadened and loosened still further, Six by Seven remain as gritty and as intransigent an option as ever, defiantly obstinate, but hard-hitting and honest. They are too dark to ever perhaps be pretty, but, boldly experimental, prove on 'Artists, Cannibals, Poets, Thieves' to be as vital and as powerful a force as always.

Track Listing:-
1 All I Really Want from You Is Love
2 Nowhere to Go but Home
3 In My Time, We Don't Belong
4 Tonight I Wannna Make It Out
5 I Gotta Get It Together Again
6 Stara Paris Rescued Me
7 Just Get It Down
8 Let's Throw Some Mud at the Wall
9 You Know I Feel Alright Now

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