blogs, blogs, blogs

Well, well, well... long time, no see... again!

My obscenely passionate and concerningly long-winded post on Another Sevenfold is finally live, and is certainly long overdue, I'd say! Oh, and, I'm excited to announce that it's also live over on CanadianWasteland, a personal favorite blog of mine! Some lovely folks they are, and some of the kindest souls I've ever met, so, I sincerely hope you enjoy reading through all this mumbo-jumbo!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Another Sevenfold

Do You Feel At Home? #15

  This post is also currently featured on CanadianWasteland (one of my biggest inspirations), as I am now a coauthor! Thank you so, so very much Ben, Maya, and Tenzin!

    In all honesty, there are some days where, while skimming through the hopelessly tangled (and nigh endless) emonomicron, I find myself in a rut... wandering, aimless, all strewn about... lost. For every band that treads the water of my mind, a good handful simply drift downstream, eventually falling over the precipice of my ear canals about as quickly as they entered them. It's a darn shame, too, as I've quite the tendency to lazily gloss over bands that I would, under any other circumstances, praise to high hell... and, admittedly, it gets me into a few pools of hot water sometimes... however, some bands, and certainly not a small number of them, manage to permanently set up camp on the harbors of my brain, with this band right here being a shining example. The very second I decided to feast my rapidly deteriorating ears upon them, I was swooning with adoration and voracious infatuation, of which soon turned into a full-blown long-term obsession of mine... So, what band is it? Well, you read the darn title, didn't ya?

    Another Sevenfold (whom I will henceforth refer to as "Another 7x" for brevity (and no, NOT Avenged Sevenfold... even the band has to do a double-take when they pass by their section in a record store... it's hysterical!)) was a humble little three-piece screamo outfit hailing from Elizabethtown, North Carolina (of all places), and operated from roughly 1995 to May of 1999. Running their forks across the chalkboard of passion and touting their unmistakable shrillness at the forefront of their efforts, these three carved a path of sharp and unapologetically raw poignancy whose presence still lingers just shy of three decades later. While their tenure was rather diminutive, clocking in at a meager four years, compared to many of their peers, it's quite the respectable run, as an uncountable number of groups called it quits after only one year, or heck, even just a few months! That's a point of discussion I tend to touch on routinely, as it simply breaks my heart every time I see it... It's always such a shame, but, I suppose it's not all that surprising anymore, especially with all the knowledge I now possess, so, I won't dwell on it any further. Moving on!

    Whenever I hear an obsessed, and, admittedly, deranged screamo fan
(such as I) decree that they've never once in their life heard of this lil' ole band, my mind is instantaneously catapulted into a debilitating state of obscene bewilderment. How could someone such as yourself, someone who's so adamantly engrossed in this nasty, bewitching little genre, possibly not have heard of Another 7x? My stupefaction tumbles well far and down the escarpment of rationality, and, by the time I reach the valley floor, the discombobulation has likely ground my brain to a fine paste. Am I overreacting? Oh, you betcha... but, c'mon, can ya blame a girl? Well, I suppose you can, and you most likely should for your own safety, at the very least... Anyhoodles. All that to say, and to put it succinctly; it positively boggles my feeble little mind how so few people have heard of this band! Gosh, it really does turn me into a total headcase, too... but, I can't help it! My insatiable hunger to spread the Another 7x gospel simply knows no bounds, and this post, this post right here, shall be my megaphone in which I'll use to disrupt the quietest of public spaces!

    Now, though this humble little high-school trio were in existence for quite an admirable number of years, one would be surprised to learn that, despite such a short (yet comparatively lengthy) career, these three well-nigh never played shows outside of the Carolinas! Oh, and speaking of those three, I've yet to list their names... of which I made the same mistake last time. My apologies. Another 7x was composed of William and James Daniel on bass and drums respectively, with Joseph Matthew on guitar and vocals. For a simple three-piece, their sound was, in some bizarre way (and likely only in my eyes), larger than life, and my goodness, Joey's screams are strident and wholly heartbreaking! Granted, I should save my ravenous gushing for later, so, that's precisely what I'll do. Ahem... I could not possibly fathom what this bands true influence could have and very likely would have been had they toured outside of their home states only a teeny-tiny bit more frequently, and, even in spite of their relatively landlocked operations, their influence was and still is certainly bountiful! Not to mention, the bands they shared the stage with are simply a treat to read through, as we've acts such as Stretch Armstrong, Watership Down, The Appleseed Cast (now I'm pissed), The Emotional Strain, MxPx (really?), and, of course, Griver! So, from all I can gather, I've not a doubt in my mind that these boys could hold their own when the lights hit em!

    Right about here is where I would place an embed to a live performance uploaded on YouTube or what have you, but, alas, none exist online. It's a darn shame, too, as I've always, and I mean always wanted to see one! I'm sure they were a riot live, no question!

    Circling back around... that influence had to have come from somewhere, yeah? What's the deets on that? When did these three up and decide, "Hey, why aren't we ravaging peoples ability to hear?" Well, for starters, these boys had known each other for a good long while, meeting sometime during 4th grade, though, of course, the band obviously wouldn't start then... that'd be ludicrous. Another 7x would take shape around the time they entered 9th grade, and, unfortunately, these three lived in a small little town, and one that certainly wasn't musically rollicking! The only town close enough that did indeed possess some semblance of a scene was Wilmington, so, twas where they went. From there, the band would pin together their guitar strap of influences, and, how they eventually stumbled their way unto their sound is nothing short of a mystery to me... but, I suppose musical proficiency comes with maturity! So, once they did that whole maturing thing, and, of course, amidst their time maturing, the three began to commit some of their work to tape... finally...

    Now, I've been waffling on and on about history and what have ya, so, how's about the music, hey? What did these three put out? Well... bluntly, two releases. Yes, two... Wait, actually, that's a lie, they had six releases! Unfortunately, though, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, as four of them are behind lock & key (the band would rather the material remain unheard), that being their four demo tapes, of which the dates of their release can be easily viewed via the bands website... which is still live! The list of the tapes is as follows:

January 1996. 4 song cassette
March 1996. 3 song cassette
September 1996. 4 song cassette
February 1997. 7 song cassette

    The first three of those tapes were sent out to a kind soul by the name of Paul, the very same Paul who ran the label Motherbox back in the mid to late '90s! When receiving the first tape sometime in the early spring of '96, he thought to himself, "This is some pretty good screamy emo, but the quality of the tape wasn’t so hot", so, with that, he politely filed it away, though he did indeed enjoy what he heard! About a month or two passes, and, lo and behold, a tape from the very same band arrives in his mailbox! Then another! By that point, Paul had heard all that he needed to hear; he dug what these three were cooking up, so, out of the kindness of his heart, he decided to put out the bands first record. Cut and dried! With that, Another 7x would mosey on up to Pennsylvania, and quickly record their sole full-length effort, all with the gracious assistance of Mr. Motherbox readily at their fingertips.

    The 11 song self-titled CD would see its release in April of '97, and, by and large, has to be one of screamo's most wholly recondite pieces of plastic (as is the release to follow). The twinkle in these three's eyes as they play are an elegantly strung together bodice of peculiar needles, earnestly piercing your tympanic membrane, leaving naught but enchanted ringing, with stars swirling around your cranium as you sway and rock in bedazzlement of their scintillating and humble musical glint. This ole number is a heart-wrenching, earnest, and unassuming offering of poignant and lovingly hopeful screamo. It's one that's horridly shrill, and fuzzily coarse, all endearingly so. It's unostentatious, and rather recherchĂ© for an entire full-length of its nature and makeup, I'd say... it tends to recrudesce in my mind how unheard of this band goes. It really does. For a record as soundly assembled as this one here, I feel as though many are remiss to not pay forth to this band some of their supremely precious attention. It encapsulates a large variety of 90s screamo's many idiosyncrasies that I positively swoon over, and, succinctly, is one of its offerings that I decree (though it's obvious) gets glossed over and dismissed all too frequently. I've hopes that one day, some day, it's audience will felicitously stumble across it, and subsequently fall for it just as painfully as I did... at their own risk, of course... and I foresee a future where a slew of hopeless emo obsessives (just like me) are soaring with adoration for this band and their material... but, for now, I wait for the day I see it receive a tithe of the attention their contemporaries amass yearly. Not that it's some travesty, of course. They were just a gaggle of kids making some alright music for the fun of it! Now, as for its obscurity, I'd say there's no reason to worry, as it's a remarkably easy record to get your grubby little hands on! A small assortment of copies are currently for sale (at the time of writing this post), and I've never seen the release page lack listings. Not once! If you do indeed take a keen interest in this record or band, I sincerely recommend picking up a copy. Such a delightfully inconspicuous package!

(driftingwiththeice also has a lovely post regarding this disc, however, if you'd prefer to stay here, this record is available to download!)

1. Misadventures Of Me
2. Certainly Star
3. Furney Rising
4. Short And Sweet
5. So That's How They Get The Ship In The Bottle
6. Staircase
7. Daymare
8. Genie
9. Jacks And Hopscotch
10. Right Of Center
11. If Only I Could Conquer The World

    Their trend of inconspicuousness continues (and, unfortunately, ends) the August of the following year with their second and final release, which was, in fact, not released by Motherbox, but instead released by Fond Of Fabrication, which was run by two kids from Greenville, NC named Scott and Gabe! The record in question is their beautifully entitled EP Thousand Star Serissa, whose name derives from a type of shrub used for making bonsai. Now, for every shred of hyperbole, and for every iota of bombastic enthusiasm and verbose aggrandizement I sloppily jot down, there always comes a time where, no matter the word, no matter the phrase, no matter the intensity of the monsoon of over-exuberance that pours from my lips, the stream from my faucet of superlatives wanes to nothing more than a series of scattered spritz, and subsequently, to nothing more than feeble drips. Sometimes I'm so taken aback, so gobsmacked, and so in awe that my words... they just sorta... fail me, y'know? Could this be another one of those cases? Hahaha, funny, but no, as every single little thing I said in regards to their full-length applies to this release, and for some songs, doubly so!

    With an entire genre whose bedrock is practically comprised of 7"s, it's exceedingly rare for one so unassuming to stand and scintillate leagues above their peers, of whom are just as wonderful based on their own merit alone. However, some are undeniably worthy of a higher pedestal, so they take their seat atop the clouds, casting down the rays of their brilliance, illuminating the coarse dirt below, ultimately putting the sun to shame. Some records are so distinctly congenial that I, admittedly, praise them to a degree that seems, for lack of a better term, religious, as if I'm a wayward messenger for some nondescript church (or, more appropriately, cult), and my one sole prerogative is to spread the good word. The gospel, if you may. Well, I've to say, it's far from any sort of a secret that I acclaim some records to an obscenely hyperbolic extent... treating them like royalty, if you will... and I mean, hey... what can I say? I'm passionate! Sometimes a girl just has to place her favorites atop their seat in her personal "emo pantheon", adorning them with their regal robes (plastic sleeves) and indefatigable scepter of boundless musical enjoyment (tonearm, cartridge, and stylus)... and this, I'd say, is certainly one of those 7"s! I positively fell in love with it the very second I did lay my ears upon the treasures stored amidst its grooves, and, in all honesty, I don't think I've ever been quite the same since. Both this 7" and the bands only CD have coaxed from my eyes many a tear, and many times over, I should add. Sometimes a band just satiates a sweet tooth ya didn't even know you had, hey? Heck, that's pretty much how I ended up here in the first place... and now I can never leave. Oh well, so be it! Anyhoodles. As for where to acquire this, I sincerely wish I had somewhere to point ya like I did earlier, but, alas, 'tis not the case. If you ever see a copy of this humble beauty for sale, do not miss your opportunity to nab it! I mean it!

Thousand Star Serissa

A1. One Man Pilot
A2. From These Waters Of Epsom Wells
B1. From This World To That Which Is To Come: Delivered Under The Similitude Of A Dream

    This would be where I begin my closing statements, but, fortunately, I've one more surprise, that being some stellar unreleased/demo tracks, of which I'm overjoyed to have been shown! Assembled here are six songs of whose release statuses are, admittedly, up in the air, as by this point, deducing (let alone attempting to remember) what tape they were released on and/or if they were even released at all is, to keep it blunt, not happening... however, they are irrefragably official, that I know! You can thank Joey (vocals, guitar) for having these up, as well as for their websites continued availability! There's some positively wondrous stuff here, ranging from spectacularly moody instrumentals, to tracks that veer more on the side of what I'd deem "harrowing". It certainly is a lovely batch of songs, that's for sure, and I'm over the moon for more people to discover these, as there's absolutely no possible way I would've stumbled across these on my own!

Demos & Unreleased

1. Thunderstorms and Sometimes
2. Ten Dollars
3. Second Hand Rose
4. Louis A
5. Fractals and The Chaos Theory
6. Crosstown Traffic

    Alrighty, now we've arrived to the closing statements.

    I'd be remiss if I didn't say that this here post is about a year or so past its due date. It's been a tumultuous couple of months over on my end, with sporadic turmoil accompanied by the ever-so-predictable turbulence that life inflicts upon its passengers. Admittedly, I've been banging my head against a wall trying to psyche myself up to finally put together something for this band for a good long while (not in a bad way, just been doing some growing, y'know?), but, for some (very likely unjustifiable and arbitrary) reason, I still hadn't written the darn thing out yet. Thankfully, that worm has finally weaseled its way out of my brain, and I'm happy to report that it is no longer chewing away at me from the inside out... so, hooray, I suppose! Anyhoodles. For how verbose this post unquestionably was, I'm still uncertain as to whether or not I adequately expressed my feelings and connection to and for this trio. Suffice to say, I love em a good bit, and, judging by the forecast, there's a high probability that my ever torrential monsoon of adoration for them will not cease. At least, not until I'm dead, and that's how it'll be for many, many other bands... The Pine, I'm looking at you... I'd say be on alert for flash floods, and avoid driving for the time being. The storm will pass, and then you've got a good month or so before it inevitably starts pouring again!

Au revoir!