Wednesday 7 August 2019

Seventeen Again - Invoke

Labels: Black Lake Records/The Ghost Is Clear Records/Zegema Beach Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital
Release Date: 15 Feb 2014 (Digital)/14 Jun 2014 (Vinyl)


1. Between The Lines
2. Around The Edges
3. Trevelyn
4. When In Rome
5. When In Hell
6. Cure Light Wounds
7. Billy Yank
8. Johnny Reb
9. Soak Up The Sun

It's been a while since I've done one of these reviews (and a little less of a while since I've done a review full stop). I'm getting back on the Zegema Beach Records roster horse and focusing this review on the only album to come from Michigan (USA) punk/hardcore band Seventeen Again. It was released by Black Lake Records (UK), The Ghost Is Clear Records (USA) and Zegema Beach Records (Canada) back in 2014 on vinyl, as well as digitally by the labels and by Seventeen Again themselves. They're no longer a functioning band but their members play in other bands.

Frustration doesn’t even come close to describing how this month has gone so far. I’ve not written anywhere near as much as I would have liked, though I really need to stop putting too much pressure on myself in that department. Some fast hardcore/punk and green tea should help be get over that though, at least for a time. This is fast hardcore and opening song Between The Lines barely lasts over a minute. It’s angular hardcore with off-kilter percussion and near-hysterical screams, so if you were wanting chuggy tough-guy stuff, look elsewhere. 

Seventeen Again is definitely more false-grind/emo-violence in posture than the hardcore tag would suggest and Around The Edges is abrasive and emotive in equal measure. The music’s also incredibly bass-heavy and it’s more obvious on Trevelyn, as the low-rumble accentuates the low vocal growls. Things get weird on When In Rome, which is slower in tempo but also more experimental. It stops on a dime and gives way to When In Hell, which is a really apt follow-up (let’s face it, most big cities are hell). It has a rock vibe to it though and also minimalist in approach and structure at points. 

You’re past the mid-way point when Cure Light Wounds comes into view and it’s another rager, with no time for breath or soft soothing tones. The second half of “Invoke” is also where Seventeen Again spread their musical wings a little, by writing and playing longer songs like Billy Yank. From the lengthy to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it as penultimate song Johnny Reb’s moody overtones fly by in less than sixty-seconds and lead you to album closer Soak Up The Sun, which is anything but sunny in disposition. There is melody in it though, but like the rest of “invoke”, it’s subtle and surrounded by dissonance. 

So what if this is album is a few years old by now and Seventeen Again isn’t active, “Invoke” is still a lot of fun to listen to and escape everyday life with. Though I’m not sure I’d actually want to be seventeen again!

You can grab "Invoke" as a free-download from Seventeen Again's bandcamp page below:-

You can still get vinyl copies from the labels below:-

The Ghost Is Clear Records -

The Ghost Is Clear Records -

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