The Six Parts Seven
Casually Smashed to Pieces


2.5
average

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
March 17th, 2007 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flat, boring, and uninspired post-rock with no concept of melody.

As much as I love some of the gems of the post-rock genre, I’ll admit it. All in all, post-rock sucks. It is overdone, way too pretentious, and hard to grasp a foothold because just about everything possible with the music has already been done. For that reason, I can’t even bring myself to listen to the lesser post-rock and review it negatively. It is just too boring. Finally, I’ve at least found post-rock that is listenable, although terribly unoriginal and repetitive. The Six Parts Seven are from Ohio, but it might be more fitting to place them in Kansas. They fit right in the middle of the post-rock realm, with a slight influence from Tortoise, Low, Slint, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and just about every other major post-rock artist to ever record. Guitars dominate their sound, but they do not limit themselves to strictly guitars. They pull in vibraphone, piano, trumpet, banjo, and electric lap steel to add inflections to their subdued and low-key sound.

Casually Smashed to Pieces is the band’s seventh full length album, and it sounds like it. The band sounds tired, uninspired, and rather bored with the music, as if they have been doing the same thing for years. The album does very little in terms of dynamics, only reaching maybe two climaxes on the entire album and even those climaxes are boring and weak. Their idea of a climax is simply switching one of the instruments to distortion and allowing that alone to be the climax. Everything else essentially stays the same. They apply this technique in Knock at My Door and Awaiting Elemental Meltdown. The latter is made even worse by the band completely stopping just before the actual climax would take place. On an album with abundant climaxes, this would work well as a change of pace, but Casually Smashed to Pieces desperately calls for a big climax somewhere, but it never comes.

For that reason, the best moments on this album are the quiet ones. The album’s longest track, Confusing Possibilities, reaches its best points in the beginning of the track with beautiful, harmonized trumpet melodies. The drummer plays incredibly tastefully with quiet rim clicks instead of hammering the snare. Throughout the entire album, he tries to push the band to new dynamics with his drumming, but the band never fully responds to his callings. The album opens and closes with shorter tracks, mostly guitar-based. These tracks, meant to be subdued and subtle throughout, work extremely well. The guitar interplay is fantastic, most notably on Conversation Heart and Night Behind the Stars. However, these moments are too little. Those tracks combine to be 3 and a half minutes long, and by the end of the album the guitar interplay gets old. There is never a moment on the album where the guitars slow down and use simplicity. As a whole, the band plays in one slow tempo throughout the album. With the ambiguous, constant guitar interplay and unvarying tempos, the album plays like one flat song.

The Six Parts Seven are masters of guitar interplay, but they have no conception of melody or the overall contour of a song or album. Throughout the entire album, there is nothing to grasp onto and nothing to take away from the listen. In the broad scope of post-rock music, The Six Parts Seven are just another band with nothing special to offer.



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Abaddon2005
March 17th 2007


684 Comments


The review was well written, but I find that your rating doesn't match your review. If I didn't saw the rating before reading it I would have said you would have given it a 2.5 or 2.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 17th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fuck did I hit 3?

I'm so damn stupid.This Message Edited On 03.17.07

Abaddon2005
March 17th 2007


684 Comments


heh no big. Voted

The Jungler
March 17th 2007


4827 Comments


Good job on the review, FP.
I have way to many acclaimed Post-Rock albums to listen to, so I doubt this will make its way to my ears anytime soon.

The Jungler
March 17th 2007


4827 Comments


I listened to a track off this. It's kind of boring, but the instrumentation is really awesome. I might check out one of their earlier CD's.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 17th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Which one?

The Jungler
March 17th 2007


4827 Comments


Stolen Moments, the most played track on Rhapsody.
Your definitely right about the frustrating lack of climaxes with this band (listening to some older material right now).I kinda like it though.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 17th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You should listen to the Tristeza album I have recommended up there, it's like this but much better.

Sepstrup
March 17th 2007


1563 Comments


You should review it.

I went on a post-rock binge today because I had to write an essay (instrumental music is good for that). It was awesome. I barely wrote anything though...

La Revolucion
March 24th 2007


1060 Comments


They have another album that's better than this, called something like Everywhere But Here. I forget the exact name, but yeah. It's still nothing great, though.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
December 24th 2007


862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Brilliant album, one of my favourites of the year.

You should try giving it another spin. It seems you concentrated too much on the climax that never came, instead of actually letting the music get through. A different approach and you might feel differently towards it, it's not meant to be an all action post-rock epic.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 25th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah but the music isn't all that interesting to compensate for the lack of climaxes in my opinion.

BaNeFuL
March 18th 2010


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It is relaxing and fairly well put together. But I'll have to agree with FlawedPerfection here, it's not a particularly exciting album. There are so many more engaging post-rock bands out there to listen to.

americanohno
March 18th 2010


1601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know I love listening to this, I usually don't like post rock either.

Josh D.
November 21st 2010


13968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would have gotten this last night, but I couldn't remember everything on my to get list. This is the only thing left that I had to get, so I shall try that tonight.

Josh D.
November 24th 2010


13968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the less climactic aspect of the band. It's just chilled out post rock.

Iamthe Nightstars
December 21st 2010


2249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only heard "Stolen Moments", but it's pretty damn cool. I need to check the rest of this out.

Digging: Few And Far Between - Three

sailSAway
May 1st 2014


847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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