When Seven Collar T-shirt first started playing in the underground circuit about 10 years ago, they were considered the most boring band to watch. This was a time when post-hardcore heavyweights like Prana and Lyme were hitting unsuspecting gig-goers with their exploding breakbeats and apocalypse-now-screamo rap metal. Seven Collar T-shirt sets revolved around slow burning jams and moody vocals. Instead of capitalising on power chords they did guitar texturing and solos; instead of aggression they wore depression with a smile.
“We’re not gloomy guys who were black and look down all day,” frontman Duan asserts. Of course now Seven Collar T-shirt are in a better place, outlasting most of their late-90s distortion-pedaling peers and having traveled to the UK recently with Estrella to gig.
“However, this is a serious album. It’s about the darker side of life. It’ll make you depress,” states Duan before concluding that “this is an adult album.” The Great Battle is full of lyrics about strenuous social relationships and the futility of war. “The 3rd album is usually what defines a band. I read a lot of music mags and a band’s life is basically 3 albums. By the time you get to your 3rd, it’s either you’re going to continue ascending like Radiohead did after OK Computer or you’re done,” says Duan.
The album opener ‘TET Offensive’, proficient demonstrates how SCT are as musicians. If their 1999 debut Freeway Dreaming & Broke was more of a compilation of pre-SCT songs and 2004’s Drones was their coming of age, then The Great Battle seals their place in the tricky world of adult rock.
“The good thing about being a boring band is that people leave you alone,” says Ham. From mellow headbanger ‘Lucky You’ to spaced-out ‘Fibres’ and warm acoustic ‘The Foreigner’, all levels are nip/tuck so well that you hear every single undertone. With pristine guitar riffs leaping off the speakers one second and crunching chords claiming Nixon the next, Ham and Duan make an excellent rhythm-lead guitar combo. Backed by new comer Keng’s steady bassline and Adil’s syncopated drumming style, SCT sounds as complete as ever.
“After listening to the album, we’re pretty contented with it. It’s not like we had a huge budget to work with but we’re pleased with the outcome,” says Duan. Trust us, 10 years is long enough. This band is ready to rip.
1. TET Offensive
2. Lucky You
3. Wild Child (Here For You)
6. The Foreigner
8. A Dissapearing Act
Listen To: ‘Lucky You’
If You Like This You’ll Dig: Radiohead, Muse, Trail of Dead
Checkout Seven Collar T-shirt at www.myspace.com/scts.