Six Parts Seven

When they say pride cometh before a fall, they usually mean hubris, a potentially fatal excess of pride. It was the undoing of Icarus, Narcissus and Dabney Coleman's character in 9 to 5. It's also what makes so many instrumental-rock bands unlistenable. Driven to abstraction by their Berklee pedigrees and nimble digits, too many well-meaning acts create seventy-minute non-verbal treatises that are abstrusely alienating and/or humorlessly dull. Kent, Ohio's Six Parts Seven cannily sidesteps the pitfalls of instrumental rockitude by writing and performing like a rock band, not a laboratory experiment. The group eschews art-noise manifestos for subtly phrased, gracefully realized wordless pop songs. On Casually Smashed to Pieces, the outfit's latest release, each mute song seems to contain the narrative arc, dark theme and literary elements of a Flannery O'Connor short story. While there's plenty for fans of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Tortoise to love, there's also warmth, heart and a notable lack of pretense.


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