7 Seconds

Scream Real Loud

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Although it has occasionally dropped out of sight for a time, 7 Seconds is arguably the longest-lived band in hardcore history, and the 2000 live album Scream Real Loud is testament to why the group has survived. Singer/songwriter/sole permanent member Kevin Seconds manages to mix righteous indignation ("Regress, No Way," "Here's Your Warning"), standing-tall anthems ("Young Til I Die," the "Touch of Grey" of the skatepunk set), political gestures (the admirably pro-female "Not Just Boy's Fun," a denunciation of the idea of hardcore life as a boys-only club), nods to the old school (a swell cover of Sham 69's "If the Kids Are United"), and good goofy fun (an amusing deconstruction of the fluffy new wave nugget "99 Red Balloons"), while maintaining a head of good old three-chord hardcore steam. As powerful as a live album from bands with one-tenth the history of 7 Seconds, Scream Real Loud is as good as '80s-style California hardcore gets in the new millennium.

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