New melodic rock project Seven Hard Years is the brain child of former Shy drummer Alan Kelly, who recruited former band mate Roy Davis (Shy Bassist) to help him, along with US based singer Shawn Pelata (Line Of Fire), Dave Martin (Former Guitarist for-Marshall Law), Martin Walls (After Hours) and Elliot Kelly (Ocean City).
Their debut album has been out for a little while now and while it features some impressive hard rocking moments and some eloquent softer, more reflective pieces, the production quality and overall mix leave a bit to be desired.
It’s quite hollow sounding overall, with almost no bottom end and a lack of drum presence in the mix. The bass lines are very audible, but hold no power in the mix. It’s a strange paradox.
That’s a shame, as the guys have recorded some strong material here. Vocalist Shawn Pelata gives it his all, given the welcome chance to expand upon his range.
Taking a look at the songs, Hold Me Now is an impressive melodic rock song; Live Without You Now is a powerful rock ballad; You Lie is a terrific aggressive Dokken-esque rocker and Never Meant To Hurt you is a strong ballad with some impressive high notes nailed by Pelata.
No Place In Heaven is a very Shy familiar style melodic rock song that impresses again.
There are some complex moments here where there’s a lot of music to digest, but the mix makes this hard to achieve. The guys can build on this release as they have some chemistry here and the songwriting warrants some praise.
If they can nail the production and mix better next time around, 7HY will be here to stay.