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Six by Seven - The Things We Make (Mantra)

Despite the title it's deconstruction that remains the hallmark of The Things We Make. Six by Seven manage to make Radiohead seem over radio-friendly and imply that the Pulp are just going through the motions. Even Joy Division would-bes Puressence sound like filter-tipped angst compared to the 100 a day misery that Six By Seven invoke. Which is not to say that The Things We Make is a monochrome moan at life's injustices.

The versatility they demonstrate would put Black & Decker to shame, recent single Candlelight is belligerent and nervy, Spy Song's undulating rhythm is stabbed to death with saxophones, Brilliantly Cute attempts to dispense a ready-made exorcism through your speaker and debut single European Me renders the unbearable almost unlistenable inserting a layer of fractured, whistling feedback between the vocal and the melody, its slow waltzing guitars and drums meander lazily about the place while the phased vocals reach pitches that you wish only dogs could hear. The oddest thing about The Things We Make is that while it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, upbeat, life-affirming, or even pleasant company, even the casual listener can hear shreds of silver lining in its dark clouds.

by Robert Lowe