Kevin Seconds

Off Stockton

Written by: PP on 21/01/2014 23:30:48

Some of you recognize Kevin Seconds as the primary songwriter and lead singer for seminal hardcore/punk band 7 Seconds, whose old school, pioneering take on the genre is often named on many a band interview discussing their earliest influences while growing up. 7 Seconds haven't been active in terms of album releases since 2005 despite touring occasionally, leaving plenty of room for Kevin Seconds to explore a solo career as an acoustic troubadour, no doubt paving the way for the likes of Tony Sly, Joey Cape, Russ Rankin, and Vinnie Caruana to do the same coming from a similar punk rock background.

"Off Stockton" is his sixth solo album overall, and not much different from his previous solo albums, or from any other punk singer turned acoustic singer-songwriter record you might have listened to over the last few years. It's full of laid back, relaxing songs that are spiced up with the occasional pedal steel guitar, strings, and Hammond organs, as well as some juxtaposed female backing vocals (see "Run Run Run"). Lead by an acoustic guitar and Kevin's soothing vocal work as its primary weapon, the album does occasionally explore nuances of other genres and styles, such as on "O Let Me Try", which has light country undertones to supplement his normal approach, or on "The Answer's No", which is basically Americana folk turned into acoustic singer-songwriter.

That's all fine and well in practice, but unfortunately the album isn't very interesting overall. With few highlight tracks or catchy passages, "Off Stockton" is essentially just songs that are generally lacking of anything particularly eventful or memorable, meaning they suffer exactly from the same problem as so many other punk rock vocalists who have tried their luck at singer-songwriter. Kevin's advantage has always been that the songs sound so different from his original band, but then again so do Russ Rankin (Good Riddance)'s as well, but they are equally bland and forgettable as here. The raw truth might be that all of the former are brilliant vocalists in their own genres, but in all honesty, this is no match to people like Jack Johnson and others who have truly mastered the jeans-dressed guy with an acoustic guitar only approach to perfection.

Download: Love Or Hate, O Let Me Try, The Answer's No
For the fans of: Joey Cape, Tony Sly, Russ Rankin, Vinnie Caruana
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.02.2014
Rise Records

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