Artist: Seven that Spells
Title: Future Retro Spasm
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records
Format: CD
Catalog #: mt234
Condition: new
Price: $16.00

Tracklist Samples
1 Olympos
2 G
3 Terminus Est
4 The Abandoned World Of Automata
5 Death Star Narcolepsy
6 Quetzalcoatl


First edition of 1000 copies in a custom made book bound sleeve. Ferocious iron age percussive propulsion into the inner core of existential angst. STS's psych moves sound like road construction in downtown NYC; a pummeling, from which arises a sublime melodic poetry and the sweet smell of asphalt. Seven That Spells has won the spelling bee by correctly spelling Kraut with 3 umlauts, and 2 Gurus. They are not, however, an Ohr label cover band, their recipe IS leaving the strudel in the rain. After several releases STS definitely has a flavour. The unit forms up on track for track with such precision that the completion of each piece seems like a magic trick. Cosmosis floes leaving experimental eddyie glistening in the light from burning attack ships. Mechanic and destructiw, delivered with John Bonham force. Seven That Spells and seven is.

Morrow vs. Hajduch: Seven That Spells' Future Retro Spasm
Morrow: Based in Zagreb, Croatia, Seven That Spells plays a powerhouse fusion of psychedelic rock, math and jazz influences, and full-tilt drumming assaults.  The group, originally a power trio, is led by guitarist/keyboardist Niko Potočnjak but has undergone radical changes in its lineup over its relatively brief tenure, and its last album, Cosmoerotic Dialogue with Lucifer, was a noisy, progressive, multi-drummer attack on the senses. Future Retro Spasm features the return of saxophonist Lovro Zlopaša (who appeared on Black Om Rising in 2008), but this time around, he steals the spotlight.  His sax lines, often interwoven with each other, are the album's driving melodic force, and their interplay with Potočnjak's acid-soaked riffs is spectacular.  With that deft relationship and the brawn of the rhythm section, 12-minute jams seem to pass in half the time. Hajduch: One cool thing about this album is that it has a few sweet galloping parts with a one-note bass line.  As the bass keeps a sturdy anchor, the drums shuffle at double time but with a consistent snare on the 2 and 4.  The result is "jazzy" and "flashy" but feels heavy, because there is still a groove to hold onto. When the bass gets "complicated" (three notes at one point during the song "G"), the guitar situates itself as a new rhythmic center — a single octave, repeated on every quarter note.  The octave eventually gives way to a six-note scale that is mutated and mirrored and eventually is buried in the interplay with the saxophone.  At the exact moment that the streams get crossed, the tempo and riff are abruptly transplanted to parts unknown.  The effect is not disorienting or wanky but seems declarative: this is the moment that we exhausted this idea, and now we are exploring a different one. Elsewhere, as on the 14-minute "The Abandoned World of Automata," this type of math/tech logic takes a backseat to slow-burn psychedelia, to fantastic results.  The interplay between the sax and the guitar is really something, especially as the song hits its final crescendo around the 13-minute mark.  It is a totally captivating track, showcasing a band of members adept at jumping from lead to rhythm and back again, with a jazz-combo ear for when and how to do so. Morrow: Absolutely, and Seven That Spells has that common thread with a few of my favorite bands — mixing heaviness and horns to perfection, like Zu and Jerseyband.  But compared to those groups, this is much more in the progressive camp, with swirling guitar leads and horn harmonies over thumping, tom-heavy beats.  It's much closer to Omar Rodriguez Lopez than Meshuggah, although the drumming often crosses into metal with occasional double-bass blasts. Oh, and there's one other unifying element on Seven That Spells albums: lots of naked chicks. Hajduch: I was previously unfamiliar with the band, and I just have a single-disc promo (no artwork), so I was unable to see these "lots of naked chicks."  If anybody out there on the Internet has any idea how to use the World Wide Web to fix that problem, please let me know in the comments.  I'm dying here. Here's a successful release sure to pull the strings of all the prog-rock fans out there.  Now, tags are annoying to me.  They often barely approximate what an artist is doing and serve as a way for the writer to make it seem like they know a lot about music when they probably found a couple tags on the internet.  It's best to just let words flow and try to explain things without them.  I think so at least.  Anyway, never heard of Seven That Spells until I received this album for review.  Being a fan of Philip Glass, acid jazz, and general musical freak-outs, Future Retro Spasm was music to my cliched and contradictory ears. Future Retro Spasm comes packaged in a special case, limited to a release of only 1000 copies.  The artwork has this esoteric, Golden Dawn thing going for it, with religious, enviromental, and sexual elements.  The music is six tracks of spastic, unrestrained experimental rock sans vocals.  Drums, bass, guitars, and saxophone make up the bulk of the instrumentation.  The sheet that came with this album says it will appeal to fans of Pink Floyd, but honestly, I'd only mention it in this regard: this is what Pink Floyd should sound like. Future Retro Spasm opens with "Olympos", setting the tone.  With an almost middle-Eastern line driven by sax, the drums fluctuate and pounce as the bass propels the tempo forwards.  This is a true example of perfection in song-writing.  The ease at which the sax carries the song and unites the other instruments is spectacular.  "G" comes at you with Phillip Glass-styled groove, "Terminus Est" messes with repetition in sound and patterning while throwing you off with some blast beats, and other songs like "Death Star Narcolepsy" are frenetic lunges of experimentation.  The only problem with this album is the fact that the saxophonist tends to rely too much on fluttering keys.  It's not easy to successfully pull off sax for this kind of sound, but in general it's very effective.  When it's not, well, it becomes more saxophone noise than anything, and the formula can get a bit tiresome at some points.  The other musicians can tend to fall in this same trape, but Future Retro Spasm always manages to pull it off in the end.  When you think it might be reaching the doorway to annoyance, Seven That Spells find a way to pull it all together again into another splendid arrangement. For an album that lacks vocals and comes off as a jam band masterpiece when you first put it in, Future Retro Spasm has just the right amount of experimentation to please without ever reaching the point of forcing a new standard that doesn't exist.  In an era where indie rock is strangling the music industry into its death throes, albums like this are a real treat.  Future Retro Spasm is a true demonstration of musical talent, song-writing, and integration.  It's a nearly perfect release.

Written by Arkus Luckily, the new Seven That Spells is everything I was hoping for, and then some! What fire, what enjoyment! And what marvelous line in the press blurb: “Seven That Spells has won the spelling bee by  correctly spelling Kraut with 3 umlauts and 2 Gurus.” I agree, totally. Add in the spirit of You-era Gong, the strike force of Acid Mothers Temple, and Mahavishnu Orchestra’s fire. The saxophonist is completely masd (yes, he makes think of David Jackson), the rhythm section is craz - I’m loving every second of it! And I swear that no-one, in the band or on the sofa, is sleeping during “Death Star Narcolepsy.” Churgling proggy stuff that may (or may not, depending on your point of view) veer a bit closer to jazz than rock. In my book, this is rock. But of a very specialized kind.Imagine, if you will, the Jesus Lizard as a prog band. With a saxophone replacing David Yow's vocals. But the same pile-driving, groove-laden rhythm section and the same aggressive tendencies. Something like that. Far more visceral and emotionally-engrossing than most prog bands. I'm not sure that label really fits, anyway. But there's some serious technical precision here, and the songs bristle with bits and pieces of classical music theory. So, you know, there's that. More to the point, great music is what there is. Outstanding stuff. If the first ten seconds excite you, then this album will blow your mind. Otherwise, well, look somewhere else. I'll be right here, turning the sound up another notch. Seven That Spells "Future Retro Spasm" - Seven That Spells - Terminus Est (Future Retro Spasm, 2010) When I started this blog, I specifically told myself that it wasn’t a blog about new music. There are a lot of those, some of them really good (no slight to any I didn’t link to in that series of three—they popped to mind). I think I just didn’t want the pressure, you know? This is a release valve, a place I can come to blow out as many words as feels appropriate about whatever I feel like talking about. And I don’t want to have to constantly be searching for things to feature here. So yeah, not a new music blog. But Every Great Song Ever is a big tent, and ever includes right now, so every once in a while I might toss out something new that I think might be in danger of being overlooked (by whom is a valid question—let’s not worry about it). You know who tends to get overlooked? Bands like Seven That Spells. Hell, I’ve been guilty of overlooking them—I got a promo of theirs once, saw all the naked ladies on the cover and filed it in the out bin (When you get about 400 physical promos a year, you do this because you have to. You can’t listen to all of it.). I wish I’d given it a spin, because this, from an LP they released earlier this year, just about caved my skull in when I heard it. Other reasons this band might get overlooked: they’re instrumental, they’re Croatian, and they’re on Beta-Lactam Ring Records, which is a great label with a really loyal clientele that gets very little notice outside that clientele, in spite of lavishing their releases with some truly great packaging. Anyway, this sounds like some unholy but wholly awesome mix of Mahavishnu Orchestra, mid-70s King Crimson and a collapsing star, and deserves an airing outside its home in Zagreb. Which, now that I mention it, has produced a lot of good hard rock bands—during the Yugoslavia years, Croatia seems to have maintained a real creative identity for itself. It has a good indie rock scene now, too—the Bambi Molesters and My Buddy Moose come to mind. Check Drugi Nacin for some kick-ass old-school Croat rock. And these guys. Apparently, this band has featured more than 50 different members in its time. They were a quartet of bass, drums, sax and guitar here, and their interplay is just freaking molten.They do such a good job of bottling the tension in the arrangement and then releasing it in torrents. It pulls you along like undertow. This stuff scratches a really specific itch I get now and then. I don’t really listen to a ton of heavy music, which is part accident and part by design, but now and then I need a sick odd-metered groove and a bit of bone-pulverizing bass. The feeling usually passes after blasting a few tracks like this. But it’s fun while it lasts. クロアチア発/肉食系サイケデリック・ロケンロー。2010年リリースの6thアルバム。踊れるロックちゅうのはこーゆーのを言うんじゃい!ガハハハッ!!ってな哄笑が聞こえてきそうな天然色の爆音が、再び。音の系統は4th"Black Om Rising"に近い。天空を舞い咲き焦がすフリーキーな爆音と、地を這うグルーヴィなポリリズム。ウルトラメガに花咲く大輪の爆音下に、超自然的に組み立てられるダンスなグルーヴが無上の快を喚起する。鉛色を叩き込むリズム隊に、フリーキーなsax、Niko Potocnjakのメガロカオティックな爆音ギターが被さりブチ上げる。秘儀めいた妖しいフレーヴァーを匂わせながら熱狂してゆくオープ ナー"Olympos"、野獣的ポリリズムが爆裂のダンス・ミュージックを形作る"G"、高速旋回する4者の爆音が激突して火花を散ら す"Terminus Est"、サイケデリックな陶酔が天空より降り注ぐ14分間の長尺トラック"The Abandoned World Of Automata"、アルバム中最もイカれた爆音がクラッシュする"Death Star Narcolepsy"は、しかし中盤でいきなりの強制停止(したり顔のNiko Potocnjakが目に浮かぶ)を見せつけ、狂熱のリフレインから快楽の無限淵へとダイブ、ラスト"Quetzalcoatl"でもやはり異常に攻撃的 なポリリズムをツマミに、STS流のハイパー・サイケデリアを刻みつけてオワル。個人的には今回も『音の理想郷』とでも言えるサウンドなのだが、敢えてい うなら前作・前々作と大きく次元が変わってない、という点で☆は4つにしておこう。とっくに別の地点へ行ってるだろうNikoのイマを追いかけるのに、現 在の契約体制じゃ到底間に合わんのだろうね。 I previously reviewed Seven That Spells' album 'Cosmoerotic Dialogue With Lucifer' and, although their penchant for putting naked women on the cover continues undeterred, I have to say that they seem to have mellowed out some. In that review I stated, 'Imagine if Frank Zappa and Sun Ra had a love child that hung out with Nel Cline and Thurston Moore. That love child would play music that sounds a lot like Seven that Spells.' Well, it seems that the child has grown up, got married to the cover model, and had kids. There is still a great complexity to the music and the guitar still reigns supreme, but to take the analogy to the logical extreme, this is a more mature, wiser, Seven That Spells. No longer content to get into testosterone-laden posturing and barroom fights, this group knows that sometimes it is good to slow down'just a bit, of course'and that speed isn't always synonymous with quality. Now here's what the equally metaphorical press sheet that came with the disc had to say: 'STS's psych moves sound like road construction in downtown NYC; a pummeling, from which arises a sublime melodic poetry and the sweet smell of asphalt.' Yes, this is pummeling, but yes this is melodic. The full force fury of their previous album is less foregrounded, but this is still quite powerful. Rather than unloading in a wall of noise, Seven That Spells proves that they are very skilled, serious musicians. The compositions are well constructed and engaging. 'The Abandoned World Of Automata' almost has a jazzy feel to it. Now that doesn't mean that there is not still vestiges of the wall of noise that I remembered. 'Death Star Narcolepsy' can be every bit as frenzied as anything on their last album, but even this track takes on more structure as it progresses. Overall, this was quite enjoyable. If you like guitar music that pushes the envelope, this is one to pick up. This album weighs in at about 49 minutes. Review by: eskaton Listening to this Seven That Spells release changes your breathing. Immediately the band starts with an overdubbed rhythmic complexity of bass/drum/electric guitar rhythms with a sax on top, renewing its jam energy a couple of times until it becomes 'pure energy' with orgasmic hypnotic heights. Although some of the layers might work here and there just slightly blurry, the hypnotic effect remains over the top, and once you are able to take a breath another layer is added, like a motor reaching its point of limit of power, forcing its energy through time and space limitations. Never the less there are smooth rhythms too, but even there wild hysteria is added in combination with this calmer ground, resulting to a strange psychedelic effect. The bass repeats a fast funky drive, the electric guitars repeat something as well before adding new wilder and improvised ideas, including a few parts with extra thundering distortion. On the fifth track a middle eastern clarinet (?) theme is melted with the for the band typical building up controlled multi-expansions. A welcome new release of this distinctive and energetic jam band.