This debut long-player from 7 Seconds was released after a series of seven-inch singles and presents the type of material that made their reputation as West Coast punk rock figureheads. Recorded several years before the band ventured off into the uncharted waters of "artistic growth," The Crew finds the band residing proudly in the blurry confines of all-out hardcore, with abstract, paste-together riffs for verses and anthemic sing-along choruses to drive the point home. The sound is thin like it was recorded in an aluminum tool shed, but the band is tight and clearly inspired, and Kevin Seconds' vocals are mixed high enough to be easily discerned (a lyric sheet is included for any words that fall through the cracks). Subject matter covers classic hardcore concerns like youth power, friendship, sexism, racism and supporting the scene. When the talk turns to drugs, the 7 Seconds attitude towards non-consumption is less dogmatic than most of their straight-edge contemporaries; rather than pointing accusing fingers, the band tends to focus on their own choices and leads by example. Kevin Seconds is one of hardcore's better vocalists, and his lyrics betray a blossoming maturity even as he advocates mass vandalism and rhymes "riot" with 'try it." 7 Seconds fused a bit more melody to their brute strength on the subsequent Walk Together, Rock Together and thereafter followed a far more diverse musical path, leaving a lot of their original followers dismayed. The Crew roars with the joyful abandon of those nascent hardcore days, however, when "I'm gonna stay young until I die" was a political statement upon which no one was allowed to renege.
The Crew Review
by Fred Beldin