7 Minutes In Heaven "Symmetry" Review
With the rise in popularity of bands such as Marina City, Sleep On It, and Belmont, Chicago has been a big hub for up and coming bands. Although 7 Minutes in Heaven may not have as many key changes, hardcore breakdowns, or drum solos as other bands, their melodies are so catchy and earwormy that they beg for attention. Symmetry begs even harder for that attention, and for the most part, deserves it.
7 Minutes in Heaven (often stylized as 7MIH) is an alternative rock band featuring the likes of Timmy Rasmussen (Vocals/Guitar), Alex Rogers (Vocals/Bass), Justin Mondzak (Guitar), and Brennan Gilbert (Drums). Since being formed in 2012, the band has had 3 releases, including 2015’s Side Effects which hit #1 on Billboard’s New Alternative Artists chart. Side Effects definitely displayed many catchy tracks, with my favorite being “I’m Okay”. And although I enjoyed the project, for the most part, I couldn’t help but leave the EP wanting more of a unique and focused identity for the band. Luckily enough, Symmetry fulfilled that wish, bringing a vibe that is not only more focused but also more up my alley musically.
Immediately following the opening drum rhythm on “Better Off”, Rasmussen and Rogers grab our attention with a seriously catchy melody. The song serves as a great opener, making its presence known but not overstaying it’s welcome at all. “Better Off” features one of the albums most memorable and anthemic choruses that fans will definitely enjoy screaming at the top of their lungs.
Up next is the bombastic “LOTL”. Here we get a very simple yet fulfilling guitar riff which contrasts the jagged rhythms of the rest of the band really well. This is definitely one of the albums strongest instrumentals, with a chorus featuring some really cool rhythmic and melodic changes in the playing. Definitely one of the best marriages of a strong instrumental and a catchy melody that the EP has to offer.
“Symmetry” was the lead single for the EP, and for very good reason. There’s no shortage of energy on this track as the chorus rocks and rocks hard. The verses are no walk in the park either, with an absolutely biting guitar tone and. Rasmussen’s vocals shine brightly on this song, as his style of singing fits this vibe of song incredibly well. This song will definitely be a fan favorite live and has been stuck in my head pretty much since the moment I first heard it.
The next track “Sweetest Sin” is definitely one of my favorite moments of Symmetry. This track boasts an early All American Rejects style vibe (reminds me lots of Swing Swing, if it were written in 2017) which should be a pretty good indication of exactly how catchy it is.
Although the next track “Cellar Door” is definitely not a ground breaking moment at all, it definitely shows off the musical talents of the band well. Gilbert plays some very gripping and fun drum fills in the bridge of the song, throwing in some very cool rhythmic twists. The rest of the band provide a really cool change of pace to the song during this section too, giving the powerful vocal melodies the spotlight.
Closing out the EP is “Wishing Well” which in my opinion has the most interesting song structure out of all of the tracks. The song is dynamic and goes in some really compelling directions musically. Starting off with a very hard hitting instrumental, featuring some very cool bass and drum grooves, and even breaks down into a very cool minimalistic section which pays off with a pretty heavy closing. Although I am definitely a sucker for the bands catchy and to the point songs, it’s very nice to see songs like this that show off the band’s writing abilities.
As mentioned before, vocal melodies are definitely one of the band’s strong suits. Not only are the melodies memorable, but the way that Rogers and Rasmussen trade off vocals adds an extra spark of personality to the songs that really help them stand out. Rasmussen’s vocal style is instantly recognizable and gives him a great sense of identity in each of the songs. Rogers presents a vocal style perfect for the many anthemic choruses that Symmetry features. And although the two vocal styles are very distinct and different, they play off each other incredibly. It’s very fun to listen to the tracks and pay attention to how the two vocal styles are utilized. Some of my favorite bands that utilize a split vocal technique (such as blink-182, Green Day, early Panic! At The Disco) often fall into predictable twists. It could have been very easy for 7 Minutes in Heaven to fall into the same predictable pitfall, but each track takes advantage of the two vocal identities in different ways.
Symmetry not only features some of 7 Minutes in Heaven’s catchiest work yet but also gives the band more of a centralized identity. Not only do I think long time fans of the band will enjoy these songs, but I also think they’re accessible enough to be enjoyed by casual fans of pop punk and alternative. There’s no definite way to tell if Symmetry is what takes the band to the next level, but these songs definitely give them a good shot.
Catch 7 Minutes In Heaven on tour this fall and pre-order Symmetry here!
09.23 - Centennial Lanes - Tinley Park, IL (RELEASE SHOW w/ Better Love, Short Handed, Everyone Says, & Arbor Day)
With A Story Told:
10.13 - The Foundry - Lakewood, OH
10.14 - Gamechanger World - Howell, NJ
10.15 - Patterson Creations - Attleboro, MA
10.16 - The Bungalow - Manchester, NH
10.17 - The Place - Brooklyn, NY
10.19 - The Sidebar - Baltimore, MD
10.21 - V Club - Huntington, WV
10.22 - The Summit - Columbus, OH
Words by Matt Jiles
Photo by Kyle Bergfors