With A Farewell To Dawn, the French 7 Weeks scores its hattrick. The band profiles itself as post-stoner, but will definitely be appreciated by a broader audience of rock fans. Especially singer Julien Bernard’s classic American rock voice makes the boys from Limoges, France, a very accessible band, even easily suitable for mainstream broadcast. There seems to be a lot of influence from alt rock and country rock.
Fans of post rock and stoner: do not be mistaken and appreciate 7 Weeks for what they are, or you will surely be disappointed. There isn’t really any esoteric, occult, psychedelic or whichever depth in their songs, just straight on music with a catchy tone to it. Some nice parts and riffs pass by along the album and 7 Weeks certainly has their own sound and original use of rhythms, but choruses are both musically and textually very recognisable and even a bit predictable. Which is not a bad thing necessarily.
What 7 Weeks does display is a cool, somewhat ghoulish, melancholic undertone leaning towards horror rock, thanks to the use of some sound effects and again, Bernard’s voice. I would love to see this kind of music in some kind of obscure American television series. Lyrically, the songs are about what their titles promise. King in the Mud tells of the struggle of a mysterious reptile in his palace of mud, the relaxing The Ghost Beside Me illustrates that good old Monday blues we all face every once in a while, Kamikazes is about… You got it, kamikaze pilots. January seems to be trying to effect a moral wake up call, but purposefully fails because of its inherent defeatism and monotony. As always, the listener is free to interpret possible layers as he or she wishes, but I feel that the lyrics have a slightly generic and predictable touch to them.
In my humble opinion, the best songs on the album are the title track A Farewell To Dawn and the closing act Knots. Both songs fit their purpose and message really well. A Farewell To Dawn is the furthest away from commercial alt rock atmosphere as it builds up the tension (largely because it’s instrumental). The gloomy mumbling and laments on Knots, about a suicidal person full of doubts, are perfect for a return to the horror rock elements by the end of the album. A nice equilibrium between fast, frantic energy and steady, pessimistic withdrawal. To conclude: one does not simply listen to 7 Weeks if one has an allergy for commercial elements. Fans of Orchid might want to consider giving it a shot. 7/10.
Release date: October 21st, 2016
Label: Overpowered Records
1. King Of The Mud
2. The Ghost Beside Me
5. Broken Voices
6. A Farewell To Dawn
8. A Well Kept Secret