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CD Reviews:  Seven Mary Three: The Economy of Sound

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Unfortunately, Orlando's Seven Mary Three has fallen into a sadly familiar trap. The band's four major-label releases have gotten progressively weaker from the first to the fourth, The Economy of Sound. When 7M3 broke onto the alternative rock scene in 1995 with their phenomenal debut American Standard (containing the smash single "Cumbersome"), the promise was there for Jason Ross to challenge Eddie Vedder for the genre's top spot. As the 1990s came to a close, however, and Ross & Co. sputtered through two more average recorded efforts, it was clear that no reigning kings would be challenged. In fact, now that songwriter and original guitarist Jason Pollock has left the band, one questions the mere survival of these directionless rockers.

While The Economy of Sound has its bright moments ("Wait," "Faster" and "Honey" are all catchy and clever), the bulk of this record gets weighed down by silly lyrics and predictable music. "I count the cracks in the pavement / Where the weeds and wishes grow," announces Ross on "Man in Control." Later the absence of Pollock's pen is again evident when "Zeroes and Ones" displays the awkward, "We talk when the talking is good… / Maybe we should run while the running is run down." 

Throughout most of the new Seven Mary Three album it's apparent that pieces are missing. A band has been assembled and songs have been written to meet a deadline. The result is clumsy and poorly thought attempts at guitar rock anthems, a couple of which pass but more fail the final exam.

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