Punk bands don't usually have this long of a shelf life. Of those that do, many have become almost unrecognizeable to their former selves, something that arguably happened in the case of 7 Seconds throughout their long and storied career. And yet, they've landed once again on their feet and brought us an album rife with energy and vigor in Leave A Light On.
Although this is the band's first full-length album in nine years, Kevin has been keeping busy doing solo projects and podcasting. Sometimes, it's good to dust off that old moniker and see if the oil still flows, and undoubtedly, it does. While the songs are not quite as fast and snappy as some of their older releases, the power and the positive message is still there. It's refreshing the same way a cool sundown is after a blistering hot day. There's enough here to satisfy the thirst for youthful exuberance, but the atmosphere is one of almost vicarious comfort. We remember our own youth as we are watching the next generation grow into their own. We're passing the torch, but it doesn't mean our flame has to go out either.
There are lots of whoas and sing-alongs here that just won't leave your head. I wouldn't consider it a 7 Seconds album if there were not. The formula is simple. Simple and compelling riffs. Simple and direct lyrics. Driving rhythm. Not overproduced in the least, just enough of a sheen to know it was recorded decently, but not mastered to death or compressed into sounding fake and processed. This is just a good album, one that I would put up there with the best of their catalog, and one I would hold up to many of the great pop-punk and melodic hardcore albums of the 1990's. If it sounds throwback a bit, it's because, well, they've been around. It's not a new band trying to sound like they've been doing it since 1980. 7 Seconds *has* been doing it since 1980, and this record is proof that they still have it.