Not Just Hardcore Fun
If someone told you they were about to play you the newest solo record from Kevin Seconds, lead singer of hardcore icons 7 Seconds (and if you hadn’t heard any of his previous releases), you’d likely find yourself mighty surprised by what was to come out of your speakers. Leaving his screams and shouts behind, Kevin Seconds has adopted a gentile, folky acoustic style for his solo project, releasing his newest album Off Stockton, and it is definitely worth your time. And while Kevin Seconds’ penchant for songs no longer than two minutes hasn’t changed, it’s probable that without knowing it ahead of time, a listener would never connect the two projects, and that’s exactly what needed to happen.
Don’t be mistaken; this isn’t the overdone folk-punk record you might be imagining in your mind. There’s no Andrew Jackson Jihad style voice cracks and he’s not just turning the volume down on his hardcore songs. It’s clear on Off Stockton that Kevin Seconds has a real love and talent for acoustic singer-songwriter style music, as especially highlighted in “Truth Be Told,” which he sings along with his wife Allyson. In fact, it’s the addition of Allyson that takes a number of songs on this record to the next level, including the “The Answer’s No” and the closing track “Strip Your Soul.” Their voices work perfectly in sync with each other and they turn what could be tossed off as another “sad guy singing” solo record that would be forgotten in a few months into one of the catchier, prettier, and all-around better acoustic, modern folk records of the past few years. Who knew it’d come from an old hardcore kid?
Fans of his earlier aggression and “mosh parts” may be thrown off by Kevin Seconds’ newly premiered calm, sing-songy voice and the fact that his songs are no longer titled things like “Clenched Fists, Black Eyes”– but for anyone looking for a softer album that will still give you punk cred, Off Stockton is it. It’s rare to find a record that will bring together quiet spoken folk fans and straight edge hardcore listeners, but Kevin Seconds has managed to find the perfect medium to accompany all of our snow days this season.