2016 Reviews

Published on October 1st, 2016 | by Justin G.

Seven Hard Years: Stories We Tell

Melodic rockers Seven Hard Years (a.k.a. 7HY) are back with a new album, their second, titled Stories We Tell. The band, which was formed by former Shy drummer Alan Kelly (who also handles guitar, bass and keys here) and features vocalist Shawn Pelata (Final Sign, Livesay), gets some choice guitar solos from guests like Pete Fry (Farcry), Dave Martin (Marshall Law) and Calle Hammer (Houston).

Stories We Tell picks up more or less where 2014’s No Place In Heaven left off. It’s a melodic rock album that pays respect to the classic era but avoids that genre’s cliches. It’s not too far removed from the mid-period Shy albums, which should come as no surprise, but 7HY is starting to define their own sound more and more. This is an album with some fantastic melodies, a great mix of rockers and mid-tempo AOR-type songs and superb musicianship. Pelata continues to impress as well, bringing a great range and a real sense of emotion to these songs.

“Break the Spell” and “Into You” are really enjoyable rockers. “Broken Man,” with its classic slow build and huge chorus (love the backing vocals on that one), may be Stories We Tell’s best moment. “One More Day” has an almost Whitesnake vibe, which is cool, and the not-quite-ballad “Only Human” is another highlight.

At first, it was just nice to see someone carrying the Shy legacy forward, but two albums in it’s fair to say fans are going to look forward to 7HY albums because of the chemistry between Kelly and Pelata. They’re delivering polished, catchy melodic rock that ought to more than satisfy fans of bands like Dare, Harem Scarem, In Faith, Line of Fire and of course Shy.


Label: Lion’s Pride

Seven Hard Years: Stories We Tell Justin G.
Album Rating

Summary: A very solid, enjoyable melodic rock album


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