Succeeds on a level that old school rockers can appreciate.

Livin’ in a Bitch of a World
Artist: 7Horse
7Horse Music Ltd.

7Horse is comprised of Phil Leavitt and Joie Calio, two thirds of the underappreciated band Dada.  Livin’ in a Bitch of a World is their third release since Dada went on indefinite hiatus.  In many ways, their sound is a throwback to the 70’s Rolling Stones, with a mixture of blues and rock, and the occasional country note thrown in for good measure.

If the “explicit lyrics” tag throws you off, you should probably skip this record. The band doesn’t shy away from George Carlin’s 7 Dirty Words, nor are they shy about their preference for marijuana. The main issue with this album, in my humble opinion, is that Joie Calio’s vocals are underutilized.

“Two Stroke Machine” is probably the best of the lot here, dealing with childhood and a distant father, and learning how to cope with it all. “400 Miles From Flagstaff” is the quintessential breakup song, and “Answer the Bell” depicts determination and the willingness to act on it. In other words, to accomplish anything worthwhile, you must…answer the bell. “She’s So Rock N Roll” is a throwback 70’s rocker.  The curiosity here is the cover of the BeeGees’ “Stayin’ Alive”, redone as a rock song. Surprisingly, it works, and may be superior to the original.

7Horse does two things: it succeeds on a level that old school rockers can appreciate; and it makes me miss the days of Michael Gurley and Dada.  While 7Horse achieves quite a bit on its own, their prior association was greater than the sum of its parts.

Brian A. Smith