7th Standard - Fire From The Sky (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

7th Standard

Fire From The Sky (2003)


I'm surprised it took so long for this to happen. Here we have the inevitable marriage of the sounds of popular hard rock with the anguished vocals of the emo trend. 7th Standard sounds like a number of familiar bands, none of which I have much patience for. The Sacramento foursome wears the recognizable influences of popular post-grunge / alt-metal acts mixed with the fashionable vulnerability your favourite radio-emo band. If those categories appeal to you, by all means you'll enjoy "Fire From The Sky."

However for me there's not enough here to distinguish the band from so much typical radio fare. While certainly an instrumentally competent band, the group's songwriting is fairly safe and predictable. Ben Grosse's production is glossy, if not at times mirroring the down-tuned guitar heavy rock sound of mainstream radio. Fitting that style, "Sensitive Skin," "Apologize" and "Can't Get Away" are all mid-paced alt-rock songs while the acoustic "You Decide" finishes the EP on a quieter moment. With the exception of an interesting tune titled "Embarrassing" none of the tracks on this EP offer anything you haven't already heard ad nauseam. The aforementioned song displays some very cool new-wave influences and well-crafted pop sensibilities. It's worth a listen, if not deserving of some airplay.

Unfortunately one decent track doesn't make a great EP. The majority of "Fire From The Sky" is far too pre-cooked and readily marketable for my tastes. Not that I have any particular indie-rock snobbery that disallows me from enjoying mainstream music, but this is simply not a group I can recommend at this point. Pass on this EP, if you're seriously interested check their upcoming full length for a better picture of what 7th Standard is capable of. Hopefully on that record the band is more along the lines of "Embarrassing" and less along the lines of... well... everything else.