One of the most influential and longest lasting hardcore punk bands, 7 Seconds are still around today and releasing new albums since playing their first show in 1980 and releasing their debut, the seminal The Crew
, in 1984. But they are also known for bringing positive ideology into hardcore thus being vital in the straight edge movement with bands like true pioneers Minor Threat among others such as Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today in the mid to late eighties. And although 7 Seconds have branched of into other styles at times in their career, they returned to their hardcore roots in the late 1990’s. In 2005 they released their 11th studio effort, titled Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over!
, showing that the band has the staying power after so many years.
There is a track on their debut album called ‘Young ‘Til I Die’
, one of the bands finer songs, and those words are still relevant today for the band. They still convey the positive messages that show why they influenced a great deal of the Youth Movement in the hardcore scene in the 80’s and simultaneously still have the aggression and energy of older days too. There are 17 songs on ‘Take It Back...’
, only four of which surpass the two minute mark, each is chock full of catchy melodies, fast riffs, often sing-a-long choruses and sheer intensity. Founder and lead singer Kevin Seconds delivers one of his best vocal performances on the album while the rest of the band stands their ground as well.
The album was mastered and mixed by Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag) who did a fine job as there are no real complaints about the production. It has a raw feel while at the same time clearly audible but not overly polished. While it is a hardcore punk album at its core, the traces of pop punk are very noticeable. Tracks like Still On It
(the longest song at 2:48) and Y.P.H.
(with an awesome bass intro) showcase a poppier sense of the band that developed with time. However songs like One Friend Too Many
, Big Fall
and Rules To Follow
could have fit fine on their debut or their sophomore album ’Walk Together, Rock Together’
with their thrashing guitar riffs, adrenaline and the heavy “whoaaa” backing vocals.
While an abundance of the songs seem to flow together and may be difficult to differentiate one from another on a first or even second listen, there are the obvious standouts. Panic Attack
kicks straight into the verse and is one of the catchiest songs on the album, especially in the chorus where Kevin sings “A part of me that never goes away, I feel its presence every single day, Someday I'll find a way to break free from anxiety”. Breaking News
continues much in the same vein as Panic Attack (and much of the album for that matter) in the sense that the lyrics start off right away before any sort of intro. The minute and a half tune is highlighted by a catchy chorus and backing vocals in the verses. Even though 7 Seconds, and a good majority of bands within the genre, are not known for their technical ability, the band has done guitar solos in the past however there are little to none here, but the band makes up for it in other aspects.
The veteran punks 7 Seconds’ latest offering does not disappoint. It offers just about everything the band is all about; positive and sensible lyrics, fast paced guitars and drums, catchy and anthem-type choruses, and most importantly the intensity and energy the band puts into their music. ‘Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over!’
could serve as both a good introduction to new fans and a worthy addition to longtime fans. However if you are new to the band would like a heavier record, check out their mid eighties releases.