Best Albums You’ve Never Heard Of: The Rentals – Seven More Minutes
Some records fit us like a glove, regardless of whether or not the lyrics or narrative match up with our life experience. These albums transcend normal connective barriers on the basis that the content has transferable relatability. For me, The Rentals second LP release: Seven More Minutes is that type of album. Whereas a lot of the album deals with a seemingly ongoing long term off and on again relationship with an eccentric American man (front man Matt Sharp) and an easy going woman from Spain, it is oddly approachable and easy to find parallels between Sharp’s tale and segments of your own, especially if you happen to be a bit eccentric yourself (which I totally am).
The Rentals – A Brief History:
The Rentals were formed in 1994 by Matt Sharp, who at the time was a founding member of Weezer and still their bassist at the time. The foundation for the Rentals was sheer elegance in its simplicity: new wave power pop rock infused with Moog synthesizers and dual male/female vocals. At the time, their debut album Return of the Rentals was a breath of fresh air. So much of the mid 90’s alternative FM radio scene was fraught with the prototypical popular Grunge (Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots), Industrial (Nine Inch Nails, Ministry) and mainstream Punk (Green Day, the Offspring) sounds, that when the Rentals debut single “Friends of P” became a hit, it sent a huge message to the industry that the listeners were hungry for a different sound. Bouncing off from there, the Rentals released Seven More Minutes in 1999. Unfortunately, Seven More Minutes, although a wonderfully fantastic album, did not catch the radio play that the debut did, and as such did not receive the level of love nor success that it should have at the time. The Rentals went on hiatus for a long while, but then returned (see what I did there) in 2014 for their latest release Lost in Alphaville. I heartily recommend all 3 albums, and should you want to know more about the Rentals (as well as being able to purchase a lot of their songs that never made it onto their 3 LPs), check out their official website! All that you really need to know is that the Rentals are awesome, and that they are the best thing that could have happened to Matt Sharp!
Seven More Minutes is the tale of Matt Sharp coming of age, of having accumulated enough life experience to start feeling old and wizened. As this lyric from Getting By (featured above) suggests he had been struggling with this feeling for some time, “lately I’ve felt like an old fat man. With her I lie and say, I’m a young fool.” In a lot of ways I identify with that sentiment of feeling older, rightfully older than I ought to, but when around others I am more youthful, energetic and fun. It’s not that I put on an act, per say, I am just a quiet and mellow person by default that spends his energy creating stuff and reflecting on a lot of things when I am alone, however I am happy (usually – your results may vary upon meeting me) to engage with others when meeting friends or in a gathering. In the end, it’s connections such as these that keep me coming back to Seven More Minutes. Whether it’s relating to the sleep deprivation of Insomnia, the need for peaceful alone time in My Head Is In the Sun, or the finality of Say Goodbye To Forever, I am always able to find some part of this album that connects to my personal experiences. Take a listen to The Cruise (and now I want to go an another cruise…thanks Rentals!):
As a parting gift, take a listen to 1000 Seasons, a cut from the Rentals latest album – Lost in Alphaville: