Providing an encounter which not only sparks the imagination but takes it on a rapacious ride through a maze of sounds and metal bred styles alongside the passions, UK band 7stbaby is a provocation we are going to hear much more of and be persistently impressed by. The reason for that bold declaration is debut album Control, a compelling and scintillating landscape of invention and adventure. The Guildford trio has created a juggernaut of riffs and grooves aligned to a sonic mastery which just infects thoughts and emotions. Equally though it is an adventure unafraid to leave expectations and assumptions a barren wasteland with nine tracks which explore and stretch everything from stoner and progressive metal to ambient textures and heavy rock enterprise. Released January 31st via Got Wrong Records, it is one of the first important introductions of the year and already a heavyweight contender to rival the established regime within rock and metal.
Founded a few years ago but held on the back burner until last year by Kyle MacKenzie (vocals, guitar) and Ben Martin (vocals, bass), both members of the also impressive Surrey band Static Plan, the duo enlisted the presence of drummer Greg Webber also of their other band to complete the active line-up. August last year saw the band record and self-produce their debut album, a release which seizes ears and thoughts from its opening moment and never relinquishes its imaginative feisty hold until its parting breath. Now with its impending release also ready drawing impressed responses alongside ours, the album is poised to thrust 7stbaby into the heart of the heavy riffing intensive fire of British stoner and progressive metal.
An atmospheric electronic breeze opens up Behind The Looking Glass, an ambient coaxing infused with distant vocals taking over the first few seconds before the song slowly stretches out a melodic arm. Again this is a mere moment in the evolving fire of the track, soon bulging riffs and crisply cracking rhythms assault the ears as a sonic weave of guitar class veins their urgency. Into its sirenesque stride the vocals from MacKenzie and Martin punch through air and sounds, their tones laid with effects but expressively forceful in their own right. A Queens of the Stone Age flavouring emerges at this point though similarly the track offers essences of bands such as Orange Goblin and fellow Brits Ten Foot Wizard to the mix. Three minutes of blood rousing, emotion inciting endeavour the tracks makes the perfect contagious start which the album only grips tightly and continues across subsequent offerings.
The following Somebody’s Bitch opens with a grouchy bassline gnawing at the ear before sonic winds erupt from within the equally rapacious riffery. An acidic groove only adds to the instant lure and as it settles into a more relaxed but still intensive stroll with outbreaks of intimidating and weighty aggression, the song sparks another wave of hunger in the awoken appetite. As magnetic as the first but bolder in its merging of varied styles and sonic spicing, more than happy to slip into voice and ambient progressive breaths within the sturdy enticement , the song continues the strong and riveting start with an ease soon matched by the next up Psycho and its successor, the title track. The first of this pair stalks the senses with an initial predatory snarl and combativeness, a Devildriver feel wrapping the vocal delivery and antagonistic menace. It is an immense opening soon taken to another plateau when the band steps into a gentle melodic embrace, warm vocals and dark rhythms combining for a Korn like temptation which persists throughout. It is a seamless transition repeated as the voracious and virulently addictive chorus erupts. The track is metal alchemy, a voracious invention soaked hunt and enslaving of the passions. Its successor delves into a blend of striding melodically caustic sounds and smouldering vocals, a Palms like venture that seduces and riles the imagination and senses with another mouthwatering fusion of songwriting ideas and musical craft.
Leave Me To Bleed is another song with a ravenous snarl and heart to its creative abrasiveness yet skilled in immersing melodic and sonic persuasion which leaves the track unpredictable and impossibly compelling. From an Alice In Chains like start the track through an electronic whiff of ambience unleashes a blaze of rhythms and riffs which devoid of vocal direction simply consumes and invigorates with anthemic potency. Its robust and torrential energy is very different to the atmospheric climate of Lucid. The next song on the album carries strong elements of the band’s sister venture, a Static Plan rock elegance merging with a Deftones like immersion for the imagination to seduce and enthral. It is a glorious wash of emotive and bordering on melancholic beauty with shadows as company.
The outstanding Horses puts the listener back under intensive and heavy incitement next, its vocal drama and tightly gripping grooves sparking thoughts of Life Of Agony whilst the mesmeric Bastille and the closing Pale Horse only reinforce and intensify the impact of the album. The first of the final pair is a riveting interfusion of light and dark, hope and pain through again a Deftones cast ambient transfixing within a threatening and skilful frame of rhythms, bass menacing, and shards of guitar invention. The final song is a drifting melodic caress matched by a similarly sculpted vocal embrace. A progressive flight through reflective beauty lyrically and musically it is a bewitching end to a simply impressive debut.
From a rigorous and towering first half through to the emotionally driven beauty of its second with maybe just the production a minor niggle with its slightly suffocating touch on the songs, Control is a fluid evolution which takes the listener on an exceptional flight of brave adventure and skilfully sculpted emotional provocation; it gives the passions and neck muscles a damn good time too. 7stbaby is destined to major things…you heard it here!
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from