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System Seven - 1990 Perspectives



ARTIST: System Seven
ALBUM: Perspectives
LABEL: System Seven
SERIAL: S7-01
YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Christian Quinn - lead vocals * John Morgan - guitars, background vocals * David Andrews - keyboards, background vocals * Matthew Jay - drums, percussion * Ed Hendricks - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rhythm Of The Night * 02 To The Power Of One * 03 Destination/ Arrival * 04 Red Dream * 05 Satisfy The Heart * 06 As I Travel * 07 The Valley


Background
Not to be confused with the Steve Hillage fronted techno outfit of the same name, this System Seven hailed from Seattle, Washington and were decidedly neo-progressive in nature. Historical background is sketchy but I'm ninety nine percent sure this was the band's only release outside a later non-CD appearance on the 1992 compilation 'Beyond Rock'. With a simple booklet cover, the band did include lyrics - small as they are, and 'Perspectives' was widely available through prog distributors of the day. The band received a bit of press and I vaguely remember a write-up in the French magazine 'Harmonie' although I'm sure there were others.


The Songs
At thirty six minutes, it's short time-wise but contains some interesting influences ranging from Pendragon and Marillion to the then modern rock of The Fixx, Simple Minds and even The Smiths, in particular the vocal inflections of Christopher Quinn who often sounds like Morrissey which can be a good or terrible thing depending on your perspective. Yet despite the tasty ingredients, musically System Seven never really cooks sufficiently and I find myself distracted with other things while it spins in the deck. The production is adequate and the band is both lyrically and technically proficient but the material is too often lackluster and frankly boring. The percussive opener 'Rhythm Of The Night' is the best of the lot and very much steeped in 'Seasons End' Marillion while the instrumental 'Destination/ Arrival' is unremarkable and a waste of time. Running hot and cold at this point 'Red Dream' would surely have impressed the lowly jangle-loving college radio programmer way back when, but now sounds like a horribly dated Modern English B-side while the second instrumental 'As I Travel' fares better than the first by just a hair. I am fond of the Pendragon styled final track 'The Valley' even with the cheesy 'Lord Of The Rings' inspired narration at the end but overall 'Perspectives' is far from essential and as such can be seen as a very minor work in the expansive American progressive canon.


In Summary
Still very easy to find and cheap too, I'd be curious to know the System Seven facts before the split and what happened to the band members after since it appears pre-grunge Seattle was a small hotbed of progressive activity as represented on the aforementioned 'Beyond Rock' comp with bands like Sadhappy, Astoria and Ministry Of Love seemingly flourishing before everything went greasy and flannel.


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Tags: System Seven 
 
Comments
#1 | chewie on July 15 2015 00:56:23
John Morgan formed Radioactive X Girlfriend; a Dark Wave, Indie, Electro, Industrial, Trance, Psychedelic, Alternative band (according to their Facebook page).
 
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