April 29, 2009

Escape and Run

7 Seconds

By the late 80s, 7 Seconds' sharp hardcore edge had been dulled considerably. Gone were the fast tempos and crunchy guitars, and in their place were shimmery, overprocessed guitar jangles and catchy, mid-tempo melodies. But hey, that's all right. Their transition album was New Wind, which, while a departure from their earlier sound, still managed to produce a coupl'a their best tracks (most notably "Still Believe" and the title track). Ourselves, the third record after Walk Together, Rock Together, is the most fully realized of their indie-pop sound. Frankly, Kevin Seconds voice is pretty well suited to this style anyway. And while it's hard to compare it to the aforementioned posi-core masterpiece, it is still very good for what it is. With a different production, this album could've been an influential piece of emo-core history (I definitely hear a little Texas is the Reason in "Escape and Run"...or I guess the other way around...whatever). One odd note is how the band seems to be publicly saying goodbye to their hardcore roots on the final track on this album, "Seven Years", which not only features the refrain "Why'd it take so long? It's time to move along," but also revives the line "If we can walk together, why can't we rock together." And then they dropped the pop thing and went back to playing hardcore like 3 years later for their next album, Out the Shizzy. So maybe what was meant to be closing the door on their hardcore years was actually closing the door on this little jangle pop experiment.

Either way, this is a good album from a somewhat wrongly maligned time in 7 Seconds' career. Listen w/ an open mind.



Gray said...

your chronology is slightly off, in that after "Ourselves" came "Soulforce Revolution" which i feel was the lynchpin between the mid-late 80s pussification of 7 Seconds and the early 90s pop-hardcore direction.

the first song on "Soulforce Revolution" is Satrygaha, and it's a corker, i really think it takes the alternative rock they were aping on "Ourselves" and speeds it back up with some much needed intensity. sure, the lyrics are amateurish quasi-spiritual dreck, but that album is the best of their post "Walk Together Rock Together" output.

that being said, when are you gonna start posting some motherfucking Drop Acid? the first one of their records was great.

cdb said...

Man I swear I even checked the dates on Ourselves v. Soulforce Revolution before I made this post, because I thought SR came after Oursleves as you state. Allmusic shows SR coming out in 87, but now that I check wikipedia, it says 89, which seems more accurate.

Whatever, I screwed this one a little I guess.

And yeah, "Satyagraha" is good, but SR also has fucking "Soul to Keep", which is downright embarrassing (though I did slow dance w/ a high school girlfriend to it in my living room...don't let that out).

Gray said...

just get some Drop Acid up here already will ya?

and yeah, "soul to keep" is a tough nut to crack. i had forgotten (or repressed) that jam from my memory. i do remember seeing 7 seconds on the soulforce revolution tour, and they did not play "soul to keep", so maybe even troy knew that one was a dud.

cdb said...

If I can track down some Drop Acid, I'll post it. That's a mighty big If though.