Six By Seven, The Closer You Get (Beggars Banquet): Are you (like me) an Anglophile depressed about the UK rock scene's current overall lack of inspiration? If so, Six By Seven may be the aural tonic you've been waiting for. The Closer You Get, the band's sophomore release, unites the various threads of the best British rock: forlorn Pink Floydian (by way of Spiritualized), guitar-and-keyboard-drenched grandeur ("Ten Places to Die," "New Year" ); the bristling punk attitude of The Fall ("Eat Junk Become Junk," "Sawn Off Metallica T-Shirt"); and a Brit-poppy way with a melodic ballad (though lines like singer-guitarist Chris Olley's "I'm not sad now/ Putting a gun to my head/ I feel hope now/ Pushing a knife through my chest" on the emotive "One Easy Ship Away" aren't likely to be heard from Liam Gallagher or Richard Ashcroft anytime soon). Overall, perhaps Six By Seven's true spiritual forebears are Joy Division — not since the days of Ian Curtis and company has a band conjured such a bleak-yet-beautiful vision of life on the razor's edge, in the psychic wasteland of contemporary Britain. The closer you listen, the better Six By Seven sound. — Johnny Walker (Black).

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