SUMMER ALBUM ROUNDUP : *** 7 YEAR BITCH, “Viva Zapata”; <i> Atlantic/CZ</i>
On its second album, this Seattle quartet makes it pretty clear where it’s coming from with songs like “Dead Men Don’t Rape.”
The band powers out a new slew of terroristic lyrics over its own blend of fat, confident power chords. Singer Selene Vigil seethes on lines like “Can I bounce a rock off your head? / Can I pronounce you dead?” in a cold, kick-you-when-you’re-down tone, then saunters along the emotional edge of Patti Smith-inspired mania. She expels lyrics in ornery packs, occasionally letting loose roars that would send Pantera running for cover.
Low-fi tunes walk by cool and slow, only picking up speed for an occasional punk-rock number. Deep bass lines come off as enigmatic, then as menacing, making the tunes stick in the subconscious, while a jagged, buzzing guitar lends a rough edge.
The best moment on this album comes in the song “M.I.A.,” its title referring to Mia Zapata of the band the Gits, who was raped and murdered last year. Vigil sings, “Does society have justice for you? / Well if not, then I do.”
New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four (excellent).