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Six By Seven - The Closer We Get / Greatest Hits album review

Nefarious noise pop geniuses re-spark their dark magic

Cover art for Six By Seven - The Closer We Get / Greatest Hits album

With their misanthropic snarls, their dense, pulsating beats and their way of making menacing electro-rock guitars sound like they’re garrotting you from the dark in a bloodspattered lock-up, Nottingham’s Six By Seven are one of the greatest ‘lost’ bands of the past 20 years. Their avid cult endures though, hence this crowdfunded Greatest Hits and a reissue of their celebrated 2000 second album.

As sinister as the title suggests, The Closer We Get (810) encapsulates their grisly grace, with New Year coming on like a meteor strike on the ENO, One Easy Ship Away making like a suicidal Smashing Pumpkins, and My Life Is An Accident and Ten Places To Die proving the band’s mastery of the stalking noise-rock throb that spends three minutes creeping up on you then plunges a cattle prod into your spinal column.

The fulcrum is the visceral noise-punk of Eat Junk Become Junk, rock’s angriest ever nutritional advice, and it’s the centrepiece of the Greatest Hits (910) disc too. Here a wider career perspective illuminates their more sophisticated art-scree torch songs (A Beautiful Shape, I O U Love, So Close, European Me, the staggering Oh! Dear) and their stratospheric pop blasts (Crying, For You, Bochum). That they include the eight-minute tribal gothic monstrosity Truce as a ‘greatest hit’ proves they were Satan’s Spiritualized, and we owe them love.

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle (opens in new tab).