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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » 7HY - 2016 Stories We Tell
7HY - 2016 Stories We Tell

ALBUM: Stories We Tell
LABEL: Lions Pride Music
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Alan Kelly - guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, backing vocals * Shawn Pelata - lead & backing vocals

Guests: Dave Martin, Pete Fry, Calle Hammer, Dann Beardsley - lead guitar * Eliot Kelly, Paul Kelly - guitar * Martin Walls, Tom Dwyer - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'll Survive * 02 Break The Spell * 03 Don't Believe A Word * 04 One More Day * 05 Only Human * 06 Church * 07 Into You * 08 Broken Man * 09 Driving Me Crazy * 10 I've Been Waiting * 11 Sweet Sensation * 12 Wasn't Always Like This * 13 Driving Me Crazy Duet (Bonus Duet Mix)


WEBLINKS: 7HY Facebook Page

We looked at Seven Hard Years (known as 7HY now) back in 2014 with their debut CD 'No Place In Heaven'. I like how they have renamed themselves because the lead guy is former Shy alumni Alan Kelly. 7HY versus SHY.. geddit? Very good Alan. Now signed to Danish label Lion's Pride Music, 'Stories To Tell' continues Alan Kelly's adventure down the melodic rock road, and another excellent album is the result. Alun was also responsible for the rather good Edge Of The Blade CD from 2015 too. Some of the same personnel from the previous album are employed once again. Vocalist Shawn Pelata from American band Line Of Fire returns, and provides the Steve Perry styled voice which gives 7HY an edge. Mostly, it is Kelly and Pelata who do the bulk of the heavy lifting on 'Stories To Tell', with guest slots on lead guitar adding the hundreds and thousands. These include: Dave Martin (Marshall Law), Pete Fry (Farcry), Calle Hammer (Houston) and Danny Beardsley (Emperor Chung).

The Songs
Listening to this set, I hear more of a North American sound filtering through. Full of melody, reasonably paced, with good production, with emphasis on the key elements of vocals, choruses and guitar interplay.. that's the way GDM'ers like their melodic rock. Yes? I thought so. 'I'll Survive' punches through the starters gate with an uptempo delivery, a good introduction. 'Break The Spell' is dense on thick keyboard layers and a 'considered' tempo. Some dinky keyboard lines feature on 'Don't Believe A Word', but it's the vocal of Pelata which holds all the attention. Nice track. 'One More Day' is a crunchier track with a heavy back-end and plodding bass line, it reminds of another band but I can't quite place it. Maybe later.. 'Only Human' drops the hard rock angle for more of a true AOR sound, and here 7HY show a lot of promise. And just as I write that, 'Church' represents the heaviest moment on the album. It's big, bombastic and boisterous (all the B's), with Kelly picking up the pace with double kick drums in operation. 'Into You' sounds like something that Ted Poley would do, it's a succinct tune, though the keyboard parts make it sound slightly different.

'Broken Man' has a cool vibe going through it. I was reminded of a band like Intruder who were around during the late 90's, if one can remember back then? ('Hearts On The Loose' anyone?). 7HY venture into anthem-land 'with 'Drivin' Me Crazy', and though the verses might operate below the standard metronome, the choruses are big and boomy. 'Sweet Sensation' can be described as mainstream AOR, and that Intruder reference from earlier on is looking like less of a coincidence. By the end of the album, I'm thinking the best is left till last. 'Wasn't Always Like This' is eerily haunting, and Pelata is hitting those high notes with ease. A perfect close out!

In Summary
There aren't too many instances where the speed limit is threatened on this album. But then again there are no Sunday Drivers either. 'Stories We Tell' demonstrates yet another set of flavours and fragrances of AOR/melodic rock in the contemporary scene. This can only be a good thing as we don't want to hear cookie-cutter productions month after month. 7HY should be congratulated for providing something interesting and different, and kudos given to Messrs Kelly and Pelata for their attention to detail. So, does that mean a new Edge Of The Blade is in the works?

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#1 | DEMONAOR on September 09 2016 19:39:01
Great album from Alan Kelly and the boys
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