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The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Ten Past Seven

A review of their debut album 'Shut Up Your Face'

Ten Past Seven 'Shut up Your Face'Review Snapshot:
As an album and as a collection of individual tracks from one of our new-found Kerry favourites, there's only one word to summarise this CD: great!

The Cluas Verdict: 8 out of 10.

Full Review:
In a music world where entry into popular acceptance and appreciation depends on little more than a catchy tune and one phrase repeated over and over as a chorus, a purely instrumental band which leaves no room for a vocal line of any kind is almost as rare as one which is truly unique. In this instance, the two have come together in the shape of Shut Up Your Face. When confronted with something like Ten Past Seven, our minds tend to work the same way as if confronted with something totally original: we sit transfixed for a moment then grasp desperately for points of reference as if we can thus qualify what we hear.

Listening to an album like this, the mind's desperate digging immediately throws up the classical composers, traditional, jazz, Mogwai? most of which are entirely irrelevant, but as unavoidable, even inevitable, as hyperbole. Ten Past Seven have all the flayed emotion and power of early Mogwai but with a greater sense of singularity of purpose and determination to get the point across with minimal flamboyance. The tracks are tighter and more structurally precise than jazz, yet follow many of the same ideas of progressing and developing themes. They are too strict for traditional's freestyling, yet their Irish influences not only shine out in the gentle acoustic Bob?n but throughout the entire album.

This is an album of contradictions: polished rawness, easy frenzy, rich sparseness. Heavy riffs (oddly reminiscent of Biffy Clyro at times) taper out and mellow into warm fractured interludes, but maintain a certain dynamism throughout. From The Purple Dot to Pistachio there is a sense of constant flux and movement, swells and expectant lulls in a never-ending tide. The aggressive in-your-face energy epitomised by the title wraps you up, beats your heart and leaves you washed out behind it. It has the power to astound and to inspire, to enflame and to emote.

Not only does Shut Up Your Face demonstrate the technical talent of a young band only together for three years, it provides a perfect example of how gaining experience by touring not only builds up a steady following but gives you that edge in creating an album that refuses to give in to production tricks. Having already supported acts such as The Redneck Manifesto and Giveamanakick, Ten Past Seven are now set to race past their contemporaries into headlining bigger stages.

Anna Murray

(bullet) Check out Anna's interview with Matt of Ten Past Seven