SEVENONEFIVE – We Don’t Feel Like This For Free
(2005 Crustacean Records)
Written by Joe Price
“Don’t let them make your decisions for you,” rasps SevenOneFive singer Douglas Bredlau on “Seat Belt.” The entire song is dedicated to bucking the system by refusing to wear a seat belt. This is hardly the most striking example of their anti-authoritarian viewpoint, but it is illustrative of the band’s refusal to play by the rules down to any detail. From the anti-Bush political screed of GWB (“Grab your guns, we’re all gonna die tonight”) to the gutter punk’s lament, “Dead Behind the Wheel,” during which he makes the illuminating statement, “All fucked up, my life is in a rut / I can’t save me, I can’t save you,” SevenOneFive is all about the gritty side of life.
They make it fun, though. The songs tear through at breakneck pace, only occasionally shifting into a funked-up half-time groove that really drives home the point that these guys rock. Even the title of the album, We Don’t Feel Like This For Free, tells the tale of drug abuse and outrage conveyed in these thirteen songs.
The dueling guitars of Scott Frisch and Travis Ulrich blend together into one monstrous, buzzing wall of thrash ‘n’ roll with solos and complementary guitar lines weaving into a unified texture. The rhythm section, provided by bassist Gavin Lefebre and drummer Andy Kinzler, is fast as hell and spot-on; they lock in with the guitars seamlessly.
Considering the amount of punk rock fury inherent in the content of the material, the sound quality is actually surprising. Punk rock bands usually don’t sound this good. The studio wizardry is apparent, but generally restricted to a lot of samples between and during songs and provides an overall smooth sound.
Bredlau lends the band more than just attitude; his pinched lead vocals, spat over the groovy rock beats, can really add drive and urgency to already rolling songs. One example is during “Dead Behind the Wheel.” After a powerhouse instrumental intro inspired equally by GnR and Iron Maiden, and the announcement by Bredlau that, “you’re all gonna fuckin’ die!” the song catches a driving, straightforward rock ‘n’ roll rhythm. Urban, bad-boy attitude infuses the tune, from its sleazy guitars to its sneering vocals. The choruses are enhanced by the steady syncopated delivery of the vocals. At times, Bredlau’s voice takes on the quality of a rhythm instrument, punctuating the band’s tasty rhythm changes.
SevenOneFive create a distinct collection of songs that is both unique and obviously inspired by myriad bands that spit into the loving faces of throngs of transfixed fans. They have the songwriting style, the musical skill, and the hardcore attitude to pull off a killer rock ‘n’ roll album. The fine production and high quality of the packaging reinforce the performance captured on this disc.