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

7 Seconds aren’t afraid to admit that they’ve been around for a while. Since the band itself is older than I am, having formed in 1979, they’ve steadily released albums since then–unlike some bands cropping up for reunion tours. One of the first bands to claim the title “hardcore,” and sometimes referred to as the “West Coast Minor Threat,” Kevin Seconds, Steve Youth, Troy Mowat and Bobby Adams have a thing or two to teach the new generation.


With their new album Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over, on SideOneDummy, they give it a shot.

They’ve mellowed little over the past 25 years, still playing songs about unity, society and personal relationships with blistering speed, not as poppy as they have been, but not quite as much a full-on blitzkrieg as they started out with either. The 17 tracks on this record last a gut-punching 28:22, with the longest song clocking in at 2:48 (and on that one, the lyrics joke “this song goes on and on”) and some at less than a minute, so 7 Seconds is a fairly accurate name. They certainly don’t sound their age, either. Kevin’s voice is still fairly high as hardcore singers go, and sounds young, and the drums are just as pounding, the bass just as throbbing, and the guitar more scalding than bands literally half their age.

Their tone on this album seems nostalgic–songs like the comparatively slow and melodic “y.p.h.” and the Social Distortion-flavored “Big Hardcore Mystery” make reference to their age and ask, “Why don’t we let the kids give it a try?” “Where is the Danger” chants along with its fist-in-the-air chorus and points the finger at the mall-punk generation, asking, “Where’s the danger in hot topic city?”

At the same time though, Kev Seconds and crew aren’t afraid to take on current events. “Breaking News” is a frenetic indictment of TV media, especially their war coverage, and “Rules to Follow” concludes the record with a rousing call-to-arms for this generation to bring back punk rock the way it should be. In the end, the catchier-than-the-common-cold “Still On It” both defines the album and stays in your head for days afterwards: “It may not be too thug-like/ and I may not win the fight/ but at least I’ll know I’ve done my best/ and what I thought was right.” They may be your parents’ hardcore, but sometimes parents still know best.


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