When Six By Seven split after seven years together last June, we all thought weâ€™d sadly seen the last of Nottinghamâ€™s finest. However, immediately after the break up the remaining members of the band swiftly headed back to the studio to team up with Ady Fletcher and Spiritualized guitarist Tony Foster for a new venture. After recording a series of tracks and trying to map out a new direction, they soon decided that the work should be released as a Six by Seven album â€“ and here it is â€˜Club Sandwich At The Peveril Hotelâ€™.
A mix of master recordings, demos and â€˜slightly unfinished masterpiecesâ€™, while on the faÃ§ade it may all seem like a quickly botched together effort to earn the band a quick dollar, surprisingly â€˜Club Sandwichâ€¦â€™ has the feel of a proper, very cohesive work. With the menacing, all encompassing My Bloody Valentine-esque guitars of â€˜Intro and Theme Tuneâ€™, weâ€™re on familiar Six by Seven territory from the kick off. Once grounded â€˜Got To Find A Way Out Of Hereâ€™ mixes repetitive, claustrophobic lyrics with Velvet Underground-esque instrumentals, before â€˜Do You Believe? revolving around a looping guitar hook offers optimism to proceedings. Indeed, throughout itâ€™s as if the split gave the band a newfound confidence and vibrancy.
Later, the quite brilliant, â€˜Americaâ€™ is hits home with buoyant keys and hazy vocals, and as the titles suggests â€˜In My Hellâ€™ is all paranoid electronic resonance and tension-fraught utterances and does what many top notch Six by Seven songs are capable of - making the listener feel genuinely uncomfortable. After the frenetic â€˜Donâ€™t want To Danceâ€™ with its almost eighties stadium rock guitar lines, â€˜In a Holeâ€™ is the first un-produced track that really stands out. Sounding very much like it was recorded in a tin can, itâ€™s a massive shame that the fairly inane, bland tune isnâ€™t quite enough to take the edge off it (together with the mediocre â€˜Sail Around The Hornâ€™, an omission from the album would have been very wise). Thankfully, the albumâ€™s finale obliterates such minor nuances, capped off with the great â€˜Donâ€™t Let it Bring You Downâ€™, which is almost a defiant two fingers up at the meagre commercial success that eventually contributed to Six by Sevenâ€™s downfall, and which they categorically deserved.
Admittedly, â€˜Club Sandwich At The Peverilâ€™ isnâ€™t quite up there with the bandâ€™s finest moments and there is the odd weak track, but really this shouldnâ€™t detract away from the fact that this is a fine send off for a band who will be very sorely missed.