7 Seconds – Leave A Light On

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

7 Seconds

Leave A Light On - Rise Records

As gets referenced frequently, 7 Seconds influenced a generation of melodic hardcore punk – mostly the generation I grew up idolizing at the tail end of the 90’s before I had connected the dots.  But while many bands with this kind of legacy have gone the way of the dodo, 7 Seconds has stuck around, intermittently releasing albums on an increasingly less frequent schedule.  It’s been almost nine years since the band’s last significant release, and fans will be happy to learn that 7 Seconds’ Rise Records debut, Leave A Light On, sticks to the same tried and true formula fans have come to expect from Kevin Seconds and his crew.

The album kicks off with two abrasive examples of the classic 7 Seconds sound.  “Exceptional” clamors open full speed ahead with Kevin spouting out social issues of societal apathy and “hardcore poverty.”  “Upgrade Everything” powers ahead with a bare bones hardcore charger that challenges citizens to check their “misplaced anger “ and “use it for the better.”  Neither song will break any records or turn many heads, but they will undoubtedly appeal to fans looking for a throwback to life from the days of Dag Nasty or modern revivalists like OFF!.

When “Slogan On A Shirt” hits, the album branches out into less hurried, poppier territory.  Melodic undertones lead quickly to a sing song chorus made all the more catchy by a background of borderline anthemic “wo-oahs.”  Similar instances include “My Aim Is You,” “Rage Quit” and “Heads Are Bound To Roll” in which the former will have listeners referencing mid-career Bouncing Souls and H2O.  “Leave A Light On” and “Standing By Yourself” even make for some vocally ambitious (albeit slightly out of place), well-rounded punk rock that sounds miles ahead of Kevin Seconds’ latest solo output on Off Stockton.  And of course there are the semi-melodic instances of shouty, hard-hitting political hardcore punk in “Empty Spots” and “I Have Faith In You.”  These takes will most likely win over purists looking for quick tempos and memorable riffs.  Only “Some Day, Some Way” and “Your Hate Mentality” sound slightly out of place amidst all of the mid-album melody, but as stand-alone tracks they get the job done. 

Leave A Light On serves as a fine reminder as to 7 Seconds’ lasting influence on the melodic hardcore-punk community.  Kevin and the crew offer a modest musical update with a don’t-break-what’s-not-broken approach.  While the back half of the album gets a little soft, I doubt even the hardcore fans will call foul considering that Kevin Seconds still has so much energy even in his mid-50’s.  After all, 7 Seconds core political and social beliefs remain true and in tact, and isn’t that what punk rock is all about?