What would happen if the hook-laden melodies of Journey married the crunchy, complex instrumentation of Dream Theater? Well, the answer would be California's 7 Months, whose debut CD is as slick and professional a recording as you are going to hear. Lead singer Joe Booe at times is a dead ringer for Steve Perry, but he also has a more aggressive delivery for the harder edged parts. The band is made up of extremely capable musicians who have plenty of chops, yet the histrionics are kept to a minimum, as 7 Months let the songs speak for themselves.
Tunes like "Stay" and "Start it Over" are just plain addictive, with gorgeous melodies that stay with you long after the CD comes out of your player. Technical prog-metal is the key on "Change", but with a commercial edge much like what Enchant has been doing on their last few releases. Guitarist Chris Jacobson is a very talented player, providing tasty, melodic leads and intricate and sometimes heavy riffs. His wah-wah drenched lines permeate the angy "Say Goodbye", a song about taking a stance and making changes with your life. Keyboard player Garegin Kalajian lets his fingers do the talking on the lovely "You & Me", a ballad with lots of Journey characteristics. Kalajian adds some nice piano touches here, as well as symphonic synths throughout the rest of the CD. The band is rounded out by Shawn Richkind on bass, and Barry Magnuson on drums, and the two form a powerful rhythm section. The whole band really digs in on the last two cuts, the furious "Sometimes" (featuring killer synth and guitar solos) and the mini-epic "Senorita Serenade." The latter really shows the overall talent of this fine band, with lyrics dealing with ocean inspired memories and fantasies coupled with complex arrangements and strong vocals.
7 Months is one of the more impressive debuts in recent memory. Filled with tight instrumentation and killer hooks, this CD should appeal to all melodic and progressive metal fans alike. Arena Rock the way it oughtta be!