Album cover Seven Seals - James Pants
Seven SealsJames Pants6/10

James Pants - Seven Seals

20 Dec 2009 macron1

Those of you familiar with this site/blog may recall previous Pants reviews, beginning with Welcomeand stretching all the way through his current slew of mixtapes. WIthout dwelling on the past, the anticipation brought about by the wait for his first album Welcome was tempered by the lacklustre nature of the debut, resulting in some harsh words being printed along the lines of "the record is highly inconsistent not bad, not good, and not enough of either to merit a definite declaration of...either." Consequently news of BRAND NEW Pants material of the non-mixtaped kind was greeted was with a large measure of apprehension.

Available on LP, CD and cassette(!), Seven Seals is the latest solo offering from Pants. Allegedly, the inspiration for Seven Seals came about "while reading mystical books and the book of Revelations, and [was] inspired by being in the mood to start a cult," and this is the "soundtrack" for the cult. It is not clear if Pants did in fact start a cult. DO NOT LET THIS PUT YOU OFF. Seven Seals is quite good. You can go here and watch Pants read from the Seven Seals or some shit like that, I don't have the patience to do this, however.

The atmosphere brought to the standard Pantsian style, presumably from the mystical books and cult shit etc. shows through, giving Seven Seals a distinctive feel, which is in contrast to the lack of personality previously endured in Welcome. Not unexpectedly, similar psych-soul musical themes abound between the two works, and Pants' percussionist background is again prominent: for example in the cracking drum intro for "Aqua Sun" and "A Chip In The Hand" bring tracks like "Finger On The Knife" to mind from the first album, while half-crooned vocals are present on several tracks, together with tracks of a religious nature, e.g. "The Eyes Of The Lord" (cf. "Prayers of the People" from Welcome).

The Seven Seals concept-album... concept proves to be a boon to Pants' approach, allowing his trademark style to achieve some direction, albeit ludicrous in nature, where things in the past may have drifted with the only purpose being that required to fulfil the obligations of the standard album archetype of 12 songs (+/- a few), not unlike this text and the concept of a review. Tracks like "Not Me" take on a crashing drums and distorted guitars punctuated with quite synth-laden robot vocals, while "I Promise I Lied" lays down the hypnotic drum riffs that originally piqued interest in Pants back in the "Murder" days, giving Seven Seals a decent amount of depth in addition to the expected prog/psych/soul that we have come to expect from Pants. All in all, this is a worthy sophomore effort and bodes well for the future.

Sardless Tracks

  • I Promise I LiedAqua Sun
  • A Chip In The Hand

Track Listing

  1. The Eyes Of The Lord
  2. A Chip In The Hand
  3. Beyond Time
  4. I Live Inside An Egg
  5. Wormhole
  6. Sky Warning
  7. Seven Seals Theme
  8. Thin Moon
  9. Not Me
  10. I Saw You
  11. Now, Let Me Brush You
  12. I Promise I Lied
  13. Wash To Sea
  14. Aqua Sun
  15. Oceans