With 'On An Island'...
Scott Colothan
19:50 12th March 2006

When Six By Seven split after seven years together last June, we all thought we’d sadly seen the last of Nottingham’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 – and here it is ‘Club Sandwich At The Peveril Hotel’.

A mix of master recordings, demos and ‘slightly unfinished masterpieces’, while on the façade it may all seem like a quickly botched together effort to earn the band a quick dollar, surprisingly ‘Club Sandwich…’ has the feel of a proper, very cohesive work. With the menacing, all encompassing My Bloody Valentine-esque guitars of ‘Intro and Theme Tune’, we’re on familiar Six by Seven territory from the kick off. Once grounded ‘Got To Find A Way Out Of Here’ mixes repetitive, claustrophobic lyrics with Velvet Underground-esque instrumentals, before ‘Do You Believe? revolving around a looping guitar hook offers optimism to proceedings. Indeed, throughout it’s as if the split gave the band a newfound confidence and vibrancy.

Later, the quite brilliant, ‘America’ is hits home with buoyant keys and hazy vocals, and as the titles suggests ‘In My Hell’ 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 ‘Don’t want To Dance’ with its almost eighties stadium rock guitar lines, ‘In a Hole’ is the first un-produced track that really stands out. Sounding very much like it was recorded in a tin can, it’s a massive shame that the fairly inane, bland tune isn’t quite enough to take the edge off it (together with the mediocre ‘Sail Around The Horn’, an omission from the album would have been very wise). Thankfully, the album’s finale obliterates such minor nuances, capped off with the great ‘Don’t Let it Bring You Down’, which is almost a defiant two fingers up at the meagre commercial success that eventually contributed to Six by Seven’s downfall, and which they categorically deserved.

Admittedly, ‘Club Sandwich At The Peveril’ isn’t quite up there with the band’s finest moments and there is the odd weak track, but really this shouldn’t detract away from the fact that this is a fine send off for a band who will be very sorely missed.