Seven Stories High strike gold with their newest EP, Deadweight
Welsh quintet Seven Stories High have peaked my interest over the past few weeks. As a big fan of the bands that they compare their sound to, I was keen to see if they could live up to the lofty comparisons of The Wonder Years and State Champs. The release of their latest EP, Deadweight, marked the beginning of my journey with the band.
Opening track, Apathy, is the lead single from the EP and also the track that made me want to write about Seven Stories High. Any preconceptions I had of the band having a standard pop-punk sound were seemingly shattered by this one. The vocals have a lovely growl at their foundation, something I am a huge fan of with this style of music. However, this is not to say that Rhys Hyett-Ferrier is by any means one-dimensional, in moments smattered across the EP the band cut out and we listen to the vocalist croon through a series of lyrics which is a nice pallet cleanser from the fast-paced action of the rest of the song. The verses blend sharp, fast drum beats with the strumming of single guitar chords which compliments the vocals that drape themselves nicely over the top. The chorus ups the ante, expectedly, bringing the bounce and even more energy. It is destined to be a crowd pleaser. The outro of this this track, with its distorted guitar riffs that aggressively roll on for days reminded me of Four Year Strong (a compliment in my eyes), it left me keen to listen onto the rest of the EP.
I was drawn to Midas, the second track, by its name alone. The tale of King Midas famously features the King who turns everything it he touches to gold, something I am sure the band will be hoping to happen with this EP. The contrast with the opening track is stark, the first verse places Hyett-Ferrier’s vocals over an acoustic guitar. Something about the opening of this one is reminiscent of Deaf Havana (again, another compliment). However, this is only the case of the first 45 seconds. The track explodes, all elements combust and we dragged through a punchy chorus. Albeit short lived, the opening chorus is impressive and sets you up nicely for the powerful breakdown. The song builds and builds, throwing all parts of the band at one another. “Catch me if you can” is repeated quickly before a huge scream launches us back into the chorus. The difference between the opening pop-punk sounding track and the anthemic qualities of Midas does ensure that this song live up to the mythological status of its name.
Hoax holds similarities to Apathy. Playful guitar riffs are called and responded throughout this track, they dance from verse to chorus effortlessly. The vocals are again notable, I feel as they add a bit of diversity to this track. Although lyrically there are parts of these songs that will not blow your hair back, the way in which they are gifted to the listener make up for that. I find this to be a common problem with certain bands of a similar ilk, the stock lyrics are boring, disengaging and are thrown down your headphones in a stereotypically whiny vocal sound. I am pleased to say that Seven Stories High cannot be tarnished with the same brush.
The fourth, and final, track on the album – Alchemy Part I is, again, different to the rest. It seems darker to me, something about its sound is a little more mature. Although I am always up for a nice bounce and sing-a-long, I do enjoy seeing bands utilise other tools that they have in their arsenal. I like that this track is different, variety is a hard thing to achieve in an EP so short but the band have managed to pull it off. I do feel as though there are parts of this song that feel a little under-developed, but this far from major criticism especially for a band that are so new to the scene. Overall, this track is another enjoyable listen.
Deadweight offers a little bit of everything and I am sure that I will continue to return to it for many hours of audible pleasure. Although there is a long way to go for the band, I am hopeful that they will gain some notoriety from this release. I always fear for bands starting out in the pop-punk genre, the window for success seems to be becoming even narrower as the market over-saturates itself. Seven Stories High have a little something about them that I hope will set them apart, I feel as though with the quality of this EP they are only destined for big things. A supporting slot on a tour with one of the bigger names in the industry will propel them into the playlists of many keen ears. Say what you want about the genre, but the fans of this style of music love their artists and stand by them unconditionally. It won’t be long until Seven Stories High are adored in the same way.