It’s funny how much your external surroundings can affect your perception of a cd. When the new Seven Mary Three cd showed up in my mailbox, I was heading out the door for an afternoon at the beach with the dog. Since it was in the car with me, I threw the cd in the deck and headed out. I was really indifferent, bordering on disappointed, in the album, and it had been sitting in my passenger seat ever since. I was making a lonely middle of the night trek home from a show in Orlando the other night and all that was on sports radio was March madness talk, so I decided a disappointing Seven Mary Three album was better than more NCAA basketball talk. Suddenly, driving down the interstate alone at 1 am, I “got it”. Perhaps I finally listened to it, I dunno, but my feelings toward Day&nightdriving made a 180 during that 2 hour drive.

Seven Mary Three will always be know as “the Cumbersome band”, and it’s a real shame. While “Cumbersome” propelled their debut cd, American Standard, to platinum status, it also shackled the “grunge” label around the band’s neck. Back then the band consisted of Jason Ross wanting to rock and Jason Pollock wanting to write more acoustic, contemplative songs. Over time, the strain of the different sounds resulted in Pollock’s departure. This allowed Ross free rein to “rock out with his cock out”, which he did for two dreadful albums. The success of “Cumbersome” was never repeated, and 7M3 is filed as a one hit wonder in most people’s memories. Hell, after the disappointment of 2004’s Dis/Location, I assumed they were done until I saw an add in a magazine about the new album, so I wrote to Icon Records and asked for it.

I am guessing Day&nightdriving was a difficult album for the band to release. Its honesty cuts right to the bone. Anyone who’s had a relationship fall apart can identify with the lyrics of “Dead Days in the Kitchen” and it’s final admission of sharing fault, and anyone who’s had an intimate relationship with a bar can identify with “Strangely at Home Here”. Does Day&nightdriving have a “Cumbersome”-like hit on it? Hell, I dunno. I haven’t listened to FM radio in 5 years, but I can say it is the best album the band has released since 1997’s Rock Crown…even if it took a little late night driving for me to realize it.

Seven Mary Three – Strangely at Home Here
Seven Mary Three – Dead Days in the Kitchen
Seven Mary Three – Upside Down

Seven Mary Three’s Official Site
, Seven Mary Three on myspace, Buy Day&nightdriving