Monday, May 30, 2011

7 Seconds: Walk Together Rock Together

Review #: 1
Artist: 7 Seconds
Title: Walk Together Rock Together
Format: LP
Year: 1985
Label: BYO/Positive Force
Songs: 7

Walk Together Rock Together is the follow-up to 7 Seconds' influential first full-length record, The Crew (which will be covered later in CDs). While I've had this record for a while, I've never actually listened to it all the way through before today. 7 Seconds is a band I tend to forget about. I saw them back in 1999, at the penultimate show at the RKCNDY in Seattle, and I was really impressed with their energy and liked them a lot, but for whatever reason I don't listen to them on record very much. I got Walk Together Rock Together over a year ago when my friend Tim moved away and gave me his record collection, and I should have given this a listen before today. The record is made up of 7 songs of a genre which seems to be nearly extinct, melodic hardcore. Catchy, short and fast, these tunes had me bouncing around while I cleaned the kitchen. The energy is similar to a good pop-punk band, and the record is over before you know it because the songs just fly by. The lyrics here are heartfelt and tend to be upbeat and personal without being saccharine. The real stand-out tracks on this release are the title track, which is a call for unity that sticks in my head for days every time I hear it, and their cover of "99 Red Balloons," a song I've always liked anyway but works really well covered by a punk band. A couple of things that set this record apart from others like it are the occasional use of cowbell by drummer Troy Mowat, which will suddenly show up in unexpected places and is kind of amusing, and the picture of the band on the back of the sleeve, which features guitarist Dan Pozniak sporting one of the worst punk haircuts I've ever seen. Additionally, it was produced by Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat and later, Fugazi). While I wouldn't say MacKaye's work is particularly evident here, it does make this record just a little cooler from a historical perspective. Although there's nothing startlingly innovative or profound on Walk Together Rock Together, this is a fun, upbeat record if you like '80s punk and hardcore.


Rebecca Clark said...

I fucking love 99 red balloons by 7 seconds. I was my summer anthem in 1988. (yes, I am old.) Years later, I used to party with Kevin Second's next door neighbors in Sacramento. I think he was sober or something, but he never kvetched about our parties...

Damon said...

Yeah, think he was/is straight-edge. Did you ever get to meet him?