Label: Lionsprides Music
Review By: Alan Holloway
First up, let’s get the name out of the way. 7HY is Seven Hard Years (they of the quite special ‘No Place In Heaven‘ a couple of years ago), and if you think the logo on the cover looks a little familiar that’s because you use to like British rockers Shy. Former drummer Alan Kelly, who is also in the band Edge Of The Blade (also recommended), wrote the songs here as well as playing most of the instruments (along with various guests). Vocals, however, are left to the highly competent Shawn Pelata (Line Of Fire), who brings a touch of extra class to proceedings.
Anyway, now we’re all up to the same page we have to talk about the music. One thing this shouldn’t be dismissed as is a ‘drummer album’. Kelly’s days as a drum stool warmer are behind him, and he’s now very comfortable in his main role as songwriter . ‘Stories We Tell’ certainly gets off to a good, aggressive start with ‘I’ll Survive’, which worships the twin gods of power and melody with equal devotion. I just love a fast, melodic opener and this doesn’t disappoint, with Shawn Pelata really nailing his vocals as well. Pelata has a high register that may no sit well with everyone (just like a certain Tony Mills back in the day) but suits the music here down to the ground. There's plenty of very nice guitarwork throughout (with 6 lead guitarists contributing I would hope so, too!) and keyboards are used very effectively and allowed to shine only when appropriate. A solid production helps everything come together, and you're never far away from choosing a new favourite track.
‘Stories We Tell’ is certainly stuffed with quality rockers, with a good mix of mid and fast paced tunes. It’s honestly hard work to pick out favourites, as the enjoyment level is pretty high throughout. The only track that doesn’t excite me is the mid paced ‘Broken Man’, which sort of meanders it’s way through nearly four minutes, but it’s a rare dip. In honesty, it’s the slower tracks that stop the album being a classic, mainly because the ones with more oomph leave more of an impact on your brain. Even so, there’s plenty to enjoy here, especially if you enjoyed the last album or Kelly’s Edge Of The Blade work. I have to say that ‘Stories We Tell’ is an album that should keep you coming back for more, and that’s really all you can ask for.
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