REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 6/15/2002
Jason Loewenstein
Jason Loewenstein
At Sixes and Sevens
Sub Pop


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Circles"

Buy me now
Clear blue skies and warm weather seem to crave a soundtrack, and since the dawn of music, certain artists have been able to tap into that vibe. Whether it's Vivaldi's "Summer" or the Beach Boys' entire catalog, some music just sounds better when played during the warmer months, tying into the season's lazy, carefree feeling.

On the surface, At Sixes and Sevens would seem to the be antithesis of summer music. Loewenstein (normally part of the currently-hibernating Sebadoh) recorded the album at his home studio on an analog reel-to-reel 8-track. It features songs with titles like "More Drugs" and "Funerals". And it's on Sub Pop, a label still more associated with the rainy Northwest than with beaches and open highways. Appearances can be deceiving, however; At Sixes And Sevens' first two songs quickly dispel fears of gloomy basement recordings. The opening riff of "Codes" demands to be played at high volume while cruising down the highway in a convertible, and that theme is carried through on the buzzed-out coolness of "Casserole".

At Sixes and Sevens is more than just a summer album. While a few of its songs are ideal for warm weather, this is more a collection of strong tunes that happen to sound good when it's sunny, than songs written explicitly with hot weather and beach-going in mind. Most of Loewenstein's work here simply puts a happier spin on Sub Pop's raw, rough-edged rock formula -- the sort of thing Kurt Cobain might have written if Prozac was free. Songs like "NYC III" and "More Drugs" are definitely based on the quiet-loud-quiet dynamic upon which grunge depended so heavily, although Loewenstein is smart enough not to beat the dynamic to death. Also, both "Angles" and "Upstate" bristle with such urgent, punky energy that you'll have no trouble remembering exactly why so many people saw so much promise in the grunge movement.

The only question that remains after listening to At Sixes and Sevens is when to listen to it. It might be just a little too dark for the sunniest days, while listeners hoping to wallow in uncharted gloom may be paradoxically depressed to find that it lifts their spirits. In any case, the answer is clear: the best time to listen to Loewenstein's debut is whenever you're in the mood for solid, satisfying rock and roll.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.