Seven Mary Three
Having a mega-hit is certainly better than not having one. But if the song becomes the main thing a band is known for, it can be 'cumbersome'.
Vocalist Jason Ross and guitarist Jason Pollock began working as a duo in '92. The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) students eventually added bassist Casey Daniel and drummer Giti Khalsa.
Groups often have obscure or even mystical references associated with their name. Not Seven Mary Three (7M3). They lifted theirs straight from T.V.'s CHiPs. The crime drama, which ran from the late '70s to the early '80s, featured the adventures of California Highway patrol officers and made actor Erik Estrada, a momentary heart-throb. But it was Estrada's co-star, Larry Wilcox, who figured in this story. His character, Officer Jon Baker, had the radio call sign Seven, Mary, Three (7 designated the patrol beat, M for Mary identified him as motorcycle cop and 3 was his unit number). The band was watching show re-runs one day (obviously they had way too much free time) and the name stuck.
Seven Mary Three's self-produced indie debut "Churn" rolled out in '94. Orlando's WJRR, a station with a reputation for breaking acts, played "Cumbersome" turning it into a local success. The band returned to the studio and re-recorded songs from "Churn," including "Cumbersome" for what became '95 release "American Standard." "Cumbersome" became a huge national hit and the group's debut went platinum (more than 1,000,000 sales).
"Rock Crown" rolled out two years later and was followed by '98's "Orange Ave." as Seven Mary Three moved from post-Grunge to Hard Rock.
By the time '01's "The Economy Of Sound" was recorded Pollack had departed being replaced by Thomas Juliano. The group also moved from Atlantic Records to the Mammoth imprint- the group's pre-Atlantic label. But they didn't stay long, releasing "Dis/Location" in '04 on DRT Entertainment.
The Bellum label issued "Day & Nightdriving," the group's sixth studio album, in '08.
1995 American Standard
1998 Orange Ave.
2001 The Economy Of Sound
2008 Day & Nightdriving
Grunge didn't die when Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) pulled the trigger that day in April of '94. But that wasn't the opinion of the music and even mainstream press. Grunge was gone. We were now in the post-Grunge era. Actually, it was Cobain A.D. (after death).
This created a dilemma for countless Grunge and Grunge influenced groups. In the post-Grunge/Cobain A.D. era they were seen a derivative and woefully out of step. Often underrated or dismissed, at least by critics, that didn't stop many, including Mary Seven Three, from selling tons of CDs.
For groups to survive though, they had to move away from Grunge. How they managed this transition spelled the difference between success and obscurity.
Listening to "American Standard" then "Day & Nightdriving" it's clear Seven Mary Three has gone through significant changes. There are more acoustic tracks and even some Country (they are from Virginia) and Punk influences along with the trademark Grunge.
Flat out "American Standard" deserved all the praise heaped on it. Landing between Pearl Jam Grunge and STP's more fluid sound, Pollack and Ross are an effective pairing while Ross' rage and pain vocals sound edgy and vital. "Punch In Punch Out" may be a bit 'iffy' but it's the only one.