Now & Then / Frontiers FRCD 121
Produced by: Chris M Jacobson & 7 Months

Released: July 22 / Website
Relatives: Dream Theater, Journey
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. New Age
  2. Change
  3. Stay
  4. Start It Over
  5. Say Goodbye
  6. You & Me
  7. The Night
  8. Sometimes
  9. Senorita Serenade

7 Months are another cool new band. This 5 piece are based in California and have released a debut album that I hope will find it's wide target audience.
I have a side of me that loves complex melodies, intricate song details and changing melodies. But I generally dislike songs that take 5 minutes to get to a point, only to be filled out with more instrumental doodling after the fact, unnecessarily padding out the song.
Which is why I have really taken to this album. 7 Months is Dream Theater without the theatre. The band's debut album, recorded over a period of 7 months, is comprised of 8 tight 4-5 minute tunes and one 8 minute epic to close the album. Perfect!
Even better is the song themselves contain some great hooks and strong memorable choruses. No over the top anthem-like rockers, but choruses that contain memorable hooks and well and truly remain in your head once the album has finished.
Vocalist Joe Booe has an interesting voice. At time he sounds a little like James LaBrie, other times like a less gruff Bruce Dickinson and interestingly, when he takes it up a notch to a higher pitch on several choruses, Steve Perry's rock voice comes to mind.
The music at times reminds me of a Steve Lukather solo album, when he gets to spread his wings a little more than usual. In fact, the song Stay isn't far from a Toto album, with it's funky bass and David Paich-like piano intro.
The album has an overall moody feel, with parts of Dream Theater, parts of 70's prog rock and parts 80's melodic rock melodies.
There is still plenty of opportunity for flashy guitar and keyboard parts and several funky bass moments also.
Generally it's a very musically interesting album, with several twists and turns all highlighted by the inclusion of more melodies and hooks than an album of this ilk normally gets allocated.
BOTTOM LINE: This is not a first listen album. I would hesitate to say that even the soundbytes won't accurately portray the sound of the album.
But it's one that grows on you bit by bit and overall I am impressed with the sound and style of the album. What's more, at only 46 minutes in length, there are no fillers.
7 Months won't be for everyone, especially those looking for easy listening AOR. But if you like your music a little mixed up, a little complex and challenging, but with melodies and harmonies in tact, then check these guys out.
Along with Vicious Mary, this is one of the more interesting debut album's of the year.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Some prog rock fans, some Journey and Dream Theater fans, fans of strong melodic hard rock.

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