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Emo Ska Pop

by Roger Young, images by Dain Withani / 04.05.2010

Jesus Christ, 7th Son are shit. I know, that’s not fair, how about this, Jesus Christ, in my opinion, 7th Son are shit. Where would I put them musically? A sort of soulless shouty ska rock vibe? But maybe I’m old, because the kids seemed to like it. But fuck it, by that stage everyone was so drunk that even I was dancing to them.

The first time I saw them was in a small venue with bad sound and I spent the whole gig outside, listening to their muffled drone with it’s occasional stabs of brass, and I thought to myself, I better hear this band on a proper sound system. But at Vmac’s on Friday night they sounded the same. Maybe it was because I was drunk and having too good a time, maybe I failed in my professional duties, maybe it’s because the bands that were before them were just that much better. I’m making excuses, let me just state it baldly; Jesus Christ, I thought 7th Son were shit on Friday night. Why do I keep saying that? Surely I should have some back up, some critical viewpoint, some THING to tell you why I thought that. All I have is this; they were unmemorable, bland, derivative. They were like uninteresting emo ska pop; and they were only ska because they did reggae 101 rhythm and had a moldy looking trumpet; they might even have been wearing guyliner. It’s not fair I know, I feel guilty writing this, I do, that’s why you’re only reading it on Tuesday, because I struggled with what to say, I wanted to be nice, I did. Okay that’s a lie, I had better things to do. I’m being a cunt, I know. But on Friday at Vmac’s, 7th Son were, well, you know the rest. It was, however, a good time. Partially, because they were uninteresting.

Some bands are so good that they leave you standing in awe, breaking into “fuck yeahs!” at the end of every song, lesser bands just carry beat and you don’t have to think too hard and can just dance; the really excellent bands do both. It would be unfair of me to say I didn’t enjoy myself dancing to them but it would also be unfair of me to say I could remember a single thing about them; apart from the fact that they all looked vaguely similar and that moldy trumpet and they made music that was like a tribute to The Specials reunion band, you know the one, they play without the proper lead singer. They were like a solid front of whatever but with an okay beat.

So, when it comes down to it, why do I bother spewing my “vitriol” on them when the other bands were so much better? Well, because I’m not a fan of repeating myself and I’ve written about Mr. Cat and The Jackal and THOTS before. DJ Creepy Steve was good, he was really good, I danced my legs down to the knees with him (I think he played The Smiths, yes, no?) but like I say, I was drunk enough to dance to 7th Son, so Creepy might have been crap too. 7th Son do have a nice logo though.

Look, I’m going to be totally honest, maybe I was too drunk but the reason I didn’t like 7th Son was that they didn’t engage me at all, they didn’t make me think I’d get anything out of listening to them. But I could be wrong; after all, I was also dancing to Creepy Steve, for fucksake.

All images © and courtesy Dain Withani.

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