I'm having real trouble introducing this band. How could I set up a band that's been covered by Isaac Brock and is still humbly putting out albums like they want to? I kind of feel weak for trying. In an almost too basic description, Six Parts Seven are an epically beautiful down-tempo instrumental group. I know you're thinking, "Another instrumental band?" But these guys really are the cream of the crop. You can draw comparisons to bands like Album Leaf, Tristeza, and even American Football, but that doesn't really explain what you're in store for.
There are no lyrics that could possibly benefit the musical works of Six Parts Seven. Every instrument carries itself with a different melody; you can almost feel the layers as each song progresses. The songs suggest a certain paradox of emotions. On the one hand, the music sounds almost heartbreaking; like you would want to listen to if you were, well, feeling sad, or nostalgic for that matter. On the other hand, everything is so exquisitely harmonious and flowing that you can't help but feel uplifted at the same time. How strange. With that in mind we come to tackle the band's latest disc, Casually Smashed to Pieces.
This album is a bit shorter than the band's previous efforts in overall duration, but not at all less powerful. The opening track, "Conversation Heart," brings that echo-y guitar that we're used to, dripping with delay. The riffs are, I'm hesitant to say, more upbeat than on earlier works. The melodies still flow as usual, but they are more optimistic sounding. This is the most profound aspect of this album that I have found thus far. The guitar and bass lines are laid out amazingly on top of each other, and you can never really tell which one is supposed to be leading the song. The subtle addition of far-away sounding horns is used without being excessive or pretentious. I could go on and on about the other musical intricacies (and there are many), but I think you get the point.
I may be alone on this one, but I can never get enough of this band. Ever since I heard Things Shaped in Passing, which remains my favorite album from Six Parts Seven; I've loved everything they've put out. Maybe that makes me a little biased for this review, but this band does everything very, very well, and with this album they slightly change things up a bit. They still retain their epic sound even with shorter songs. Hopefully this band won't leave in the near future.
8.8 / 10
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