7HY (Seven Hard Years) – For The Record
- Never Say Goodbye
- Burning Rain
- Nothing Hurts Me Like You
- Be Who We Want
- Can’t Let You Go
- That Song
- Strangers Again
- We Can Be Strong
- I’m Gonna Be You
- What Love Can Make Me Do
- What Is The World.
Initially formed as a solo project by which to document his own songwriting adventures, Alan Kelly (formerly of UK major-label rockers Shy) has cultivated a strong, skilful stable of band mates and collaborators in the continuing saga of 7HY (officially named Seven Hard Years).
Teaming up again with American vocalist Shawn Pelata ‘For The Record’ is the 3rdrelease by this formidable band after 2014’s ‘No Place in Heaven’ and 2016’s ‘Stories We Tell’.
I was fortunate to listen to the album and have the opportunity to share my thoughts on it.
‘Nothing Hurts Me Like You’ has it all, a gripping melody, sing-a-long chorus and a vibe that screams hit single.
The album starts with ‘Never Say Goodbye’ a melodic gem of an opener that reveals immediately the way that 7HY bring that classic 80’s rock sound right up to date. ‘Burning Rain’ keeps the magic moving with a steady hard hitting rhythm. The track feels like it could be a soundtrack to a car chase. ‘Nothing Hurts Me Like You’ has it all, a gripping melody, sing-a-long chorus and a vibe that screams hit single. We are left in no doubt that 7HY means business with the hard edged ‘Uprising’. Shawn Pelata demands to know “Who’s side are you on?” as he begs you to answer. Well I know where I stand….great track. The chompingly heavy ‘Be Who We Want’ thumps it’s way next with its chant like verses and Sabbathesque guitar work. It is another awesome track that just gets better and better with every listen.
Special note has to be made to the collaboration on the album with Andrew Chick. Chick had previously worked on ‘Stories We Tell’ and brings so much to the table here. Another inspired addition is that of guitarist Danny Beardsly. Some of his lead guitar work just leaves me breathless.
‘Can’t Let You Go’ is another of those “should be a hit single” tracks, fabulous drumming and shout it out choruses make this one special. ‘That Song’ fires up next and treats us to more dark and edgy rhythms. It’s another fine example of bringing the rock style up to date. With the Foreigner sounding ‘Strangers Again’ we are taken on a journey of heartbreak and desperation. ‘Strangers Again’ is simply beautiful. The rocking ‘We Can Be Strong’ has a wonderful chorus with quite a hook to it. ‘I’m Gonna Be You’ again contains the familiar theme of great melody, catchy chorus, although the underlying message to the song sounds pretty evil to me. ‘What Love Can Make Me Do’ is my favourite track on the album. It is solid, almost Jazzy in some places and damn good in most.
Every album should have an epic, that one track that makes you just want to hear more from the band. In ‘What is the World’ we have just that.
Every album should have an epic, that one track that makes you just want to hear more from the band. In ‘What is the World’ we have just that. Eerie, haunting keyboards, gentle acoustic guitars, an awesome guitar solo and powerful backing vocals. ‘What is the World’ is the perfect album closer. A power ballad that builds and builds on so many different levels.
If 7HY wanted ‘For The Record’ to make a statement, then they have certainly succeeded in doing so. This is a fantastic album that has all the right ingredients to carry forward the legacy that is Rock.
Pete Devine Pete’s Rock News and Views August 2017
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Band location – Cornwall, England
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