Seven Strait, consisting of Dustin Penny (Vocals, Guitar), Staffan Osterlind (Lead Guitar) and Matt O’Rourke (Drums), has shared the stage with bands such as Three Days Grace, Five Finger Death Punch, Sublime and Krash Karma. Between 2014-2015 they performed over 300 shows after achieving some success with their debut EP, “Big Dirty Nasty”. Currently the band is getting ready to drop the first full-length album “Rise from The Ashes”, produced by Mark S Berry. In the meantime they have also released the album’s lead single, “Hold me Down” as well as allowing a preview peek of 2 more songs – “Back Home” and the Johnny Cash cover “Folsom Prison”.
Seven Strait has done something remarkable. They have maintained a mainstream rock formula while putting out excellent music and keeping their edge. They simply deliver the goods, giving longtime rock fans many new flavors to keep them excited.
This band has an uncanny ability to please fans with grooving thick driving tunes that practically leave you holding your breath for more. These tracks on “Rise from The Ashes” truly displays the fact that Seven Strait continues to be a viable force in music, regardless of their long-standing experience in the industry, and still write great, material.
“Hold me Down” – the lead single, opens with a strong force that boldly announces this is a Seven Strait record and that they’re going to be moving you. The track oozes talent and emotion, and any modern rock lover who wishes to break out of the norm will enjoy the hard hitting guitars riffs and screaming solo.
But more than anything else they will adore the stop and start rhythms, as well as the uplifting chord progressions, and the anthemic choruses. The band demonstrates a rare talent for staying within a focused, yet very successful, creative formula without sounding like any old rock n’ roll cliché.
“Back Home” blends both electric and acoustic sounds, as well as layered harmonies to give the track a fully fleshed out soundscape, able to sound comfortable on mainstream radio or inside a stadium. It’s hard to put into words the emotions you feel when listening to Seven Strait as they rework “Folsom Prison”. My immediate thoughts are along the lines of wow, that’s exactly the arrangement I would create if I had to redo the song in a heavier version.
But there are many standouts on the album, like the crunchy “All Day Long”, the more aggressive rhythms of “Let It Bleed”, the superb guitar riffs on “Come Clean”, the grungy “Shades Of Grey”, and the melodic bone-crusher “Flatline”. Musically, throughout the album, the band has develops incredible riffs and rhythms.
The underlying guitar work is excellent, and the addition of the solos is a personal bonus for me, the drums seems intensely linked to the songs – not just the generic mechanical, banging drum beats you hear on some modern rock albums. Seven Strait should be proud of themselves. Their debut album is a solid piece of work.
With Seven Strait you’ll also instantly come to grips with a great singing voice that can go gritty and heavy or soft and melodic. That is what makes their sound pleasurable to many an ear, whether the song is hard and heavy with grinding riffs or uses softer tones. If you value these traits in a rock band, then there is everything to be happy about on listening to this album.