Friday, February 25, 2005

7 Seconds
Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over!

Side One Dummy Records, 2005

A typically revolutionary album title from a band with more optimism than I have that punk rock is going to change the world in any massive way.  I say this because they’ve been around longer than I’ve been alive (and no, I’m not just a really hilarious toddler).  17 tracks in 28 minutes.  I've listened to it 4 times whilst you've read this introduction.

For a band who once sang “I’m gonna stay young until I die” they write a lot of songs about being over the hill.  The 3 tracks that stand out most if you just have this album on in the background are the longest, “slowest” songs on the CD, they are all a bit cheesy (musically) and all have an ageing theme.  The best song all-around on the album, is the first, the only one that’s under a minute long  - “All Came Undone” is a song about looking back and wondering if you really changed things that much.  Which are the kind of elderly wises those of us in the 17 – 23 age-range can appreciate, because we wonder if we’ll look back and think the same.  There’s something disheartening about hearing Kevin Seconds pre-pubescent voice sing about “Your Parents Hardcore”.  On “Big Hardcore Mystery” he quite fairly says, “give the kids a try”, but it’s as if to imply that the kids aren’t giving it a try quite fine on their own.  Seconds also sings “some even tried to steal the name”, as if the bands musically tame and outdated definition of “hardcore music” is more true than the much heavier metal and emo hardcore bands that are around now.  Perhaps it would be cynical of me to wonder if the albums theme has anything to do with its title.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate what these guys did, but they’ve barely changed their sound in 20 years.  Which is okay I suppose, it’s a good sound.

Nevertheless, 7 Seconds have stuck around longer and remained more entertaining than many of their (younger) contemporaries, so perhaps we can allow them to settle into being middle aged.  Even though their gang vocals are starting to sound more like church harmonies, the guitars and drums are still infectiously well crafted, and Kevin Seconds unique voice still works brilliantly on your lugholes.  If you want something fast and fun and not at all groundbreaking, get this.


James Lamont.