Review Summary: A very enjoyable album from a talented band, certainly recommended to newcomers to the genre as well as those who are looking for a different take on intstrumental rock music.
With the slew of instrumental/post-rock bands emerging in recent times, The Six Parts Seven take a different approach to the apparent formula. Lengthy build-ups to a dramatic climax are not present here, with songs often finishing quieter than they started. Even so, this is The Six Parts Seven playing to their strengths, because what they do produce is sincere, sentimental music, which can often fall flat when in the wrong hands.
The opener, What You Love You Must Love Now, introduces you to the intricate, three-guitar approach the band takes. This includes slide guitar, which is a Six Parts Seven signature. When considering previous Six Parts Seven albums, what gives Everywhere and Right Here its unique character is the inclusion of vibraphones. These add an extra layer to the songs, for the better, because it allows yet another instrument to be woven into the mostly-clean guitar tones. The vibes give the overall sound a relaxed, almost night-time feel, which enhances the album.
Continuing on from What You Love You Must Love Now, Already Elsewhere allows the bass guitar to shine through in its closing stages. The rhythm section of the band is noteworthy, not for carrying the band, but for supporting each song tastefully and with refine. This works for them because of the meandering nature of the guitar-play, which needs more restrained playing to support it. That said, the bass guitar and drums are still varied enough to provide interest for the listener, with the drummer providing great grooves and interesting use of his kit, without ever going over-the-top.
What (Can We Just Make Out) shows the band creating a longer song, with a low-key ending using only guitars and piano, reminiscent of Sleeping Diagonally from their previous record Things Shaped in Passing. This serves as a soothing interlude before the next track. And so begins my main problem with this record: it doesn’t end as strongly as it starts. The Quick Fire is, in fact, a cover version, however it just strikes me as being a fairly sub-par Six Parts Seven affair; it is quite repetitive and slow-paced despite providing a pleasant melody. A Blueprint of Something Never Finished is a downbeat response to the tracks preceding it, with sustained guitar chords being used to dramatic effect, and the addition of a piano to actually lead the song. The final track, Night Long, features only guitars and vibes, finishing off the album in the relaxed fashion it started in, which is certainly one of its charms.
One of the main gripes that listeners might have is that the songs are all quite flat, dynamically. There are no obvious crescendos, nor build-ups, but I don’t think the band set out to do these things anyway. Most of the songs, in the way they are crafted, are very subtle, with songs never doing a U-turn and going in the opposite direction. What does happen is that minor changes occur; one guitar might veer off track, or the piano might take the lead. Making up for this potential shortcoming is the rich sense of melody these guys have. This is evident in any of the songs, but What You Love You Must Love Now and What (Can We Just Make Out) are definite highlights.
In summary, The Six Parts Seven produce a highly enjoyable record, which rewards the listener with each spin, despite a weaker conclusion than start. For newcomers to the post-rock genre it might serve as a gentle introduction, whereas those who are expecting epic climaxes will not find what they are looking for here. What is on this album is incredibly well-thought and sincere music that is deserving of anyone’s attention.
What You Love You Must Love Now
This One or That One"
What (Can We Just Make Out)