Fireworks

Seven Hard Years - 'Stories We Tell' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f9/ee/32/seven-hard-years-stories-we-tell-21-1477336112.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 24, 2016    
 
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A release that Melodic Hard Rock fans will love.

Seven Hard Years, the name taken from the letters of the band Shy but also known as 7HY, is the brainchild of ex-Shy drummer and song-writer Alan Kelly (who helped pen amongst other Shy songs 'Give It All You've Got' and their big hit co-written with Don Dokken 'Break Down The Walls').

7HY released their debut album 'No Place In Heaven' two years ago without much fanfare it has to be said. Featuring the vocal prowess of American Shawn Pelata (Line Of Fire/Final Sign) it has to be regarded as criminally overlooked with songs of the quality of Melodic Hard Rocker 'Say What You've Gotta Say' and the sumptuous ballad 'Hold Me Now'. Roll forward to 2016 and Kelly is ready to release the follow-up, again with quality Melodic Hard Rock as his forté.

Roster-wise, 7HY is Kelly and Pelata; the former again handles rhythm guitar, drums, keyboards and some of the bass as well as providing great backing vocals alongside the latter as, obviously, vocalist. Their guests on this album include: Dave Martin (ex-Marshall Law), Eliot Kelly (Alan's son), Pete Fry (Farcry), Calle Hammer (Houston), Danny Beardsley (Emperor Chung), Paul Kelly (Alan's brother), Martin Walls (After Hours) and Tom Dwyer (ex-ML). Kelly's daughter Robyn was also persuaded to do a vocal duet on the melodic power ballad 'Driving Me Crazy' as a bonus mix to the original song.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'I'll Survive' is a great opening song and a fast, Melodic Hard Rocker whilst power ballad '...Crazy' is another fine offering, although the bonus version with Robyn Kelly raises it an extra level with an acoustic intro, lots of vocal melodies and a cool solo making it a superlative song with a Dare feel, particularly regarding the Vinny Burns-esque guitar tone.

I love the composition, structure and atmospherics on 'Don't Believe A Word' and the solid Melodic Hard Rock of 'Broken Man' with Pelata reminiscent of Q5's Jonathan K on his high accent. The hard-edged Rocker 'I've Been Waiting' has a hint of Bonfire about it and the bouncy melodic Pop Rocker 'Sweet Sensation' offers something different. But kudos goes to 'Only Human' with its eighties New Romantic feel (think Human League/Ultravox), great atmospherics and dark melody; Kelly and Pelata also get the vocal tone just right to fit the mood.

Seven Hard Years is a welcome addition to the scene and a release that Melodic Hard Rock fans will love!

Carl Buxton

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