Seven Channels: self-titled

Seven Channels
Seven Channels
Palm Pictures
2001-08-21

While popular music may be an important cultural force, no rock band has saved the world. Even groups who incorporate socially conscious messages into their music are still selling entertainment to the masses. It’s not the fact that pop music exists that makes it important. It’s the fact that people listen to it.

Seven Channels don’t quite understand this concept. Wrapped up in their own arrogance, they think these mostly generic songs are better than they are. They are making rock music, after all. Rock is deep and meaningful. Therefore, these songs must also be deep and meaningful because it is rock. Seven Channels think they matter just because they exist.

The 10 songs on Seven Channels’ self-titled debut don’t exactly have anything wrong with them on the surface level. While they are overly impassioned and dramatic, there is a certain note of honesty, but mostly Seven Channels seem to be trying too hard. The drums pound, guitars grind, and every vocal is filled with tortured pain. Seven Channels attempt to equate loudness with significance, but unfortunately, the music is neither loud enough nor significant enough. Seven Channels want to be Pearl Jam, but the band sounds like a watered-down Creed instead.

Maybe once listeners find their way past the more insipid qualities of Seven Channels, they might find something to actually enjoy. And to their credit, if you’re not fully paying attention to them, they don’t sound that bad. They understand song structure, with quiet breaks and bridges coming in at just the right moments. This is part of the band’s problem, though, since it has just stolen standard formulas and applied them without changing anything. Seven Channels are nothing new, although they’re pretending they are.

It is, of course, absolutely no surprise that Seven Channels’ lyrics fall into this same sense that these things have been said before. “Sometimes I know I could be wrong, still everyone sings that song. The only thing I know is how much I miss you”, from the opening “Velcro Parade” is a pretty accurate sample of Seven Channels’ lyrics. While the band is at least not trying to be overly poetic, the entirely too earnest delivery of these lyrics gives the impression the band thinks it is actually being profound.

Seven Channels may quickly find fans, since they have tapped into a very basic formula for rock. Their self-importance, though, is disappointing. With the misconception that people are going to care just because this is rock, Seven Channels don’t understand that it isn’t what they have brought to the music that truly matters. Instead, it’s only what their listeners are going to take away. And with Seven Channels’ debut, there’s honestly not that much to get out of it.

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