Review Summary: TOO HEAVY TOO LIGHT TOO BLACK OR TOO WHITE TOO WRONG OR TOO RIGHT, DAY AFTER NIGHT
My formative years happened in the 90’s, and I am astutely aware I place a higher than deserved reverence on the mid-decade post-grunge/alt rock scene. Objectively speaking, once true grunge (at least in terms of being a pop culture force) disappeared the second Cobain decided to load his 12-gauge, the middle part of the 90s was absolutely loaded with radio heavy bands all ferociously sucking from the same watered down tit. Most of the bands saturating the radio airwaves (when radio still mattered) during this time had one or two decent songs off their debut album, then proceeded to release intensely atrocious sh*t that quickly annihilated this new post-grunge obsession, giving way to the even more deplorable, yet ironically awesome, nu metal. Even though it absolutely should, it simply doesn’t matter, because I love this sh*t. Nostalgia is a helluva drug.
Seven Mary Three are a microcosm of the era. The majority of their records suck so intensely hard they now deservedly revel in formidable obscurity despite being massive from 1995-1996. Despite the onslaught of unlistenable drivel emanating from their discography, their debut, “American Standard,” pretty much rules. The pillars are of course the enormous, riff heavy, insanely catchy ‘Cumbersome,” which is a top 5 song of the genre, and the ominous, melodic “Water’s Edge,” which was almost as big and almost as good. The rest of the album is formulaic yet above average post grunge/alt with a few real gems thrown in, like the hook laden “My, My” and the so-sappy-its-awesome anti-bullying ballad “Lame.” Despite their obvious shortcomings, Seven Mary Three should at least be given credit for not sucking as hard as the majority of their brethren, as well as penning a song that destroys as much as “Cumbersome.” If you’re searching for a microcosm of this era, you could do worse.