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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Six Going On Seven
American't (Or Won't)
Big Wheel Recreation

Rating: NR/10 ?

February 14, 2000
Emo. It's just a word, but I use it.

And when considering what the latest release by power-trio Six Going On Seven might sound like, of course the blasphemous three-letter word popped right in my head. My head said to me, "Yep, Six Going On Seven. Emo." It was a great conversation that my head had with itself. You should have been there.

But, my head was quite shocked when the sounds of American't (Or Won't) began to fill up some of the empty space that I keep for sucky emo bands. My head said "Dude, this isn't emo! This is… this is… BUFFALO TOM!"

It seems that Six Going On Seven have abandoned their strange and crappy combination of Hot Water Music style gravelly beer rock and clean guitars for a more jangly classic rock flavor, that is quite reminiscent of mid 90's alt-rock anthem authors Buffalo Tom, Cracker, or even the hilariously terrible Gin Blossoms.

Not to say that sounding like Buffalo Tom is a crime or anything (heck, I actually love Buffalo Tom, and I have seen them live, and they were an excellent band), but the cheese oozing from the plates of Six Going On Seven is so thick, that I am almost embarrassed for them. Being an emo band is probably very constricting, like being trapped in a cardboard box with no oxygen and nowhere to go to the bathroom, but a certain honesty is missing from the band's attempt at heart-on-sleeve pop rocking-ness.

As most records like this go, there are a few non-offensive text book pop songs that would make the band seem not too out of place on an American Eagle store soundtrack, but for the most part it feels like Six Going on Seven are just getting their Hootie on a little too much.

But, there must be something positive about the record right? Um… okay, well it's recorded really well, with the great Tim O'Heir (Superdrag, Sebadoh, J. Mascis) manning the sessions, and there is some clever laying going on, whether it be a simplistic piano part, a strong harmony, or some nice Byrds-esque guitar work going on. And maybe I was a bit harsh with the Gin Blossoms comparison. There is a bit of an Elvis Costello influence running throughout this album, (especially on the song "American't") and by golly, there is nothing wrong with that man's body of work, so not all is sour in Six Going On Sevens-ville.

The record ends with "A/K/A," a peppy pop ditty, that features some prominent hand clapping, as if Six Going On Seven are congratulating themselves on their stab at power-pop and the distancing themselves from generic emo whine-a-thons. And although their effort may be a little misdirected and uninspiring, they at least deserve a pat on the back for trying.

Reviewed by Ryan Allen
A former staff writer with fabulous hair, Ryan Allen once fronted Red Shirt Brigade with his brother, Scott. He currently fronts the art/fashion punk band Thunderbirds Are Now!, with is brother, Scott.

See other reviews by Ryan Allen



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