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Emo Ska Pop

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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  1. bettasnack says:

    What a useless article. Even if the band are bad, to wipe them out like that stating you were too drunk to remember what was going on is pathetic. You’re just abusing your public voice.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Bravo bettasnack. Straight to the heart of the matter in 3 sentences.

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  3. Anonymous says:


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  4. Buchu says:

    Refreshingly honest
    At least you state you may be unfair
    I also found them to be “shouty” and “emo”. Didnt really dig it.

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  5. African says:

    waste of article space….

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, objective? No. Opinionated. Yes.

    In future, could you please do a bit of research before you blag about how shit a band is.

    Your core statements bleed an element of truth about them. I would know. However, your content is appallingly misguided. 7th Son have achieved what majority of South African bands will never achieve – playing at EVERY major festival in the country, producing 3 albums, touring incessantly and achieving a loyal fanbase.
    If you’d taken some time to interview any of the band-members, you would have discovered that there have been many member changes and losses in recent months, and that the MOST recent body of work is not an attempt to commercialize but rather try something new, albeit unsuccessfully. Do you understand how that would effect a band in any way? I’m not sure you do because you haven’t mentioned anything outside of your own, inebriated experience.

    You may have summed up the night and the band feeling, but please beg the question ‘why?’ in your future articles. There have been many nights when 7th Son have induced fervour from massive crowds for being amazing live and for performing competent songs engagingly, however that time may be drawing to an end. In your opinion.

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  7. Donny Fiasco says:

    Anonymous-e.. You’ve come around eventually, you actually have an argument, its weak, but its better than nothing. It doesnt really deserve much, but im replying for the sport of it 🙂

    Firstly.. Music is not an objective thing, neither can music journalism ever be. You see, I think you are missing the point a bit. Young is paid to give his opinion, and whoever pays him for it, trusts Youngs opinion. One can only be objective about the sound of music; The system, the tones, the instruments etc, but when it comes to whether the band were shit or not, thats an opinion. Young gave his, as he usually does. If you dont like it, and you only read shit you like, find something else to read…but you will battle to find any truly good article on music that is-objective- without it being a pop culture fest. Young watched a band, and gave his opinion of them. I agree that it’s definitly not his greatest, but fuck, it’s his job, to give his opinion. In MY opinion, while i see that perhaps he should have mentioned their “great success”*, success in this country is not always a sign of goodness. So if Young is a voice against that kind of success, he has a few peoples support.

    You are grasping at tiny tiny threads, its a waste of time.

    * Borat

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  8. SevenJones says:

    Have courage in your convictions, Rog. Seventh Son are Crap! Stop negating your opinion by reminding us that it is an opinion and could be wrong.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    In my OPINION, 7th Son are one of the best bands around and are still going strong. They are returning to their roots now and I think that’s the best direction for them. in my OPINION, this is a badly written article and I happen to think that the writer sucks about as much as he thinks 7th Son do. Even in an opinion piece, it is good practice to substantiate your opinion – otherwise it’s pretty useless. I don’t think you did your OPINION much justice in my opinion young Young.

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