Take The Seven

Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious EP

Written by: TL on 02/04/2012 14:34:42

As much as I wish I was in a band, I'm almost happy I'm not in a UK rock band at the moment. I mean come on, the competition in that scene is so furious it's ridiculous. I'm sure I'd be struck by paralysing performance anxiety prior to playing any show or releasing any record. Established powers like Lostprophets, Funeral For A Friend, You Me At Six and Kids In Glass Houses are as strong as ever, while Young Guns, Deaf Havana, We Are The Ocean, Lower Than Atlantis and Blitz Kids are snapping at their heels, and already we see the next wave of hopefuls - such as Mallory Knox, I Am Forever and most recently Take The Seven - starting to make their mark with solid first efforts.

The last mentioned of all those bands, Take The Seven, are a quintet from Chesterfield, and this review is about their debut EP from January this year, "Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious", on which the lads present a sound that's an equal mix of "Hours"-era Funeral For A Friend and You Me At Six. The main ingredients are hence melodies that are super sentimental and super accessible, narrated by a warm, emotive voice than can get raw when it needs to and underscored by tap-happy riffage, and it is indeed hard not to think of these two exact references during "Welcome To My Town", which opens the EP at a gallop, sounding a lot like FFAF's "Streetcar", and "The Artist", which closes it with acoustic balladry very much in the same vein as YMAS' "Always Attract".

Both songs are quite good however, and in between them Take The Seven have sandwiched five other cuts which are all captivating, easily accessible and instantly recognisable after only a few listens - the way you want your pop-rock to be. Especially centre-piece "Ships And Sails" is contagious with it's "You'll be the ship and I'll be the sails" refrain, yet the hooks of numbers like "Through The Crossfire" and "History Is Written By The Victors" are hardly inferior either.

The only real weakness that needs observing on "Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious", is that its wide-eyed sentimentality can get a little overwhelming at times. "Duchess" for instance has a wedding-themed bridge that, while I personally like it and think it is a standout of the record, might well sound a little corny to some people, and the same can be said in the Kids In Glass Houses-esque "Burnout", in which a chorus on the simple side capsizes to the sound of bright squealing guitars going off like fireworks in a Disney movie in the background. It's still catchier than the plague but it is also constantly in danger of being a little much.

If you set aside those reservations however, I'm sure you'll recognise that "Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious" is indeed a very promising release. It's a solid production job and it offers varied takes on Take The Seven's sound, both fast and slow, light and loud, and the band pulls it off almost no matter what they try their hand at. To do so already on a debut EP is unquestionably a commendable feat, and it casts Take The Seven as a band to watch closely, for if they can get their ball rolling I think there's a good chance you'll be seeing them on the music channels soon enough.


Download: Ships And Sails, Duchess, Through The Crossfire
For The Fans Of: You Me At Six, Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Mallory Knox
Listen: facebook.com/Taketheseven

Release Date 09.01.2012

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