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Six By Seven – The Way I Feel Today (Mantra, 2002)

Nottingham band Six By Seven has been compared to every band from Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, and Swervdriver and even more recent acts B.R.M.C. and Doves, who share their “shoegaze” influences. However, Six By Seven have their own distinctive sound of expressive vocals and cathartically dramatic music. Since their 1998 debut “The Things We Make,” they have filled out their fuzz-filled guitar sound with a stronger emphasis on keyboards and piano. “So Close” is a piano-tinged melody with crashing guitars. “I.O.U. Love” opens with a keyboard riff backed by drums and bass and progresses through a memorable keyboard fill and layers of distortion.

“All of My New Best Friends” is an unusually light track for this album, full of delicate acoustic guitarsand keyboard-filled arrangement. Six By Seven shows that they can be as mellow and noisy on the same album to display a full range of emotions. Then, there are the more bass-heavy angst-ridden rock on “Flypaper for Freaks” and sonic assault of “Speed Is In Speed is Out” combining to produce an album of many varied and interesting sounds. Six By Seven are at their best when they can combine their heavy guitar sound with more delicate vocals or keyboards, as on the well-chosen title track “The Way I Feel Today” and the melancholic anthem “I.O.U. Love.”