mini album review ~ seven summits ~ 'fossils'

 'Melody driven alternative rock' is how Belfast's own Seven Summits would 'Sum up' (sorry folks) their synth crafted sound. Citing influences from recent indie folk such as Bombay Bicycle Club to Blur's boisterous Britpop, many an influence can be derived from this album. Think of the relatively recent entourage of indie-synth bands such as Swim Deep and Peace to best place the band into the company of similar artists. Following the release of their debut self titled EP, Seven Summits released Fossils in August 2012. Now down to the business end of the review.

Most of the album is chilled, mellow and melodic, an ideal album to throw on Sunday morning and nurse a banging head from the night before, although prudent lyrics such as 'Take another bit of my heart, and throw it in the pit of a fire, cause I'd rather have a burning heart than no heart" may be too much for a recovering mind to comprehend, but wisely poetic nonetheless. That isn't to say energy is lacking however, if you enjoy a good headbang or a jaunty jive the calmed synth flute is ditched for an almost grungey/post-punk overtone in two of the stand-out tracks 'Know it All' and 'Burning Heart' which are oddly reminiscent of Joy Division, in both musicality and the strong overriding emotions expressed, particularly in the chorus. The mellow verses of 'Know it All' contrast effectively with the power of the chorus to convey what seems to be a sense of anger very clearly. Despite the unusual addition of a 'synth organ' which seems to serve no real purpose other than extra sound, 'Burning Heart' is one of the bands strongest releases, both lyrically and musically very well established.

The album unfortunately seems to fade out towards the end, with tracks 'Pig', 'On Record' and 'Okay' appearing unwilling to divulge and remain tame. The saving grace in the second half of the record is undoubtedly 'I Want Somebody', a track which emerges above the others as an engaging cacophony of sounds. Musically the track is excellent in every regard; the synth is employed perfectly, incredibly overdriven bass is a joyous inclusion and the groove is hypnotising while our minds delve deep into the complex ideas explored through the tracks introspective lyrics. The tracks conclusion leaves you desperate for it to continue, as it comes to an abrupt halt. Despite this, and the slight redemption gained from 'Twelve Signs' I can't help but feel the essence of this album could have been captured better on a five track EP, where the bands best material wouldn't be slightly tainted by what appear to be album fillers. A band with unquestionable potential, I would like to see them experiment more with the energetic side of their music, as their sweeping melodies I can only imagine would perfectly compliment a more uptempo vibe. The band's live performances have also been greatly recieved, such as their performance at this years 'Forfey Festival' where they were especially well received.

Seven Summits have the groundwork in place to launch a strong assault on the Belfast music scene and abroad, the release of 'Fossils' will only strengthen their cause. 

For fans of-Swim Deep, Peace, Pavement, Bombay Bicycle Club
Stand out tracks; 'I Want Somebody', 'Know It All' , 'Burning Heart'

Chris Hanna

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