Lost & Found
Asim Shaikh | New York, New York | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Old School" is NOT a collection of rarities or demos. It is, however, one hell of a record. Quite possibly one the best punk records ever recorded, even if its not loud enough. It embodies that early 80s California punk sound (like early Dead Kennedys or Black Flag with Keith Morris). Compare that to the more 'hardcore' sound of the East Coast with bands like Urban Waste or Major Conflict (for an excellent resource, get familiar with Mad At the World Records). As the story goes (at the least the one I'm familiar with), 7 Seconds recorded this record for the Alternative Tentacles label, run by Jello Biafra. It was recorded somewhere between 1981 and 1983. You'll have to check the liner notes. This was SUPPOSED to be the band's full-length debut, but fell through the cracks because Alt. Tentacles just didn't have the funds. Later, 7 Seconds recorded the Crew for BYO, which although a landmark record, pales in comparison to the raw sound and energy embodied on Old School. Old School is simply what a punk record should sound like. This doesn't have that 'polished' sound that the Crew has, and thank God for that. Short, fast, chaotic and to the point. This sounds better than the Skins Brain & Guts 7" or Committed for Life 7", both of which have their own flaws (muddy sound), although each are great records. Stylistically and sound wise, it s a primitive version of the Crew or Walk Together, Rock Together, the band's 1985 effort (and perhaps their most valient punk record). From there the band began exploring different genres (listen to 'New Wind' ('86), 'Ourselves' ('87), 'Soulforce Revolution' ('89), 'Out the Shizzy' ('93?), 'The Music the Message' ('95), 'Good to Go ('99) and the recent 'Our Core' ('05). This record was finally released in 1990 or 1991, following the release of 'Soulforce Revolution', a wonderful record, heralded by some as the bands' U2 phase. In any event, your punk record collection has a serious void if you don't own this record. This is the sound, this is the beginning of it all. Although brilliant in its simplicity, I don't think anyone has captured it again so beautifully."
(Not) A collection of demos and rarities
Worgelm | United States | 06/18/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you're yearning for the days of DIY musical aesthetic and no production values, or if you're just looking to fill out your 7 Seconds back catalog, you might give this one a try. Fidelity is at a premium and the production is at best primitive, but none of this stuff is unlistenable. Nascent versions of songs that appear on _Crew_ ("Definite Choice", "I Have a Dream", "Here's Your Warning", "Clenched Fists, Black Eyes") and _Walk Together, Rock Together_ ("No Class, No Way" becomes "Regress, No Way") are mixed in with covers (an almost incomprehensible Nancy Sinatra cover) and other rarities. Probably a good collector's companion piece to _alt.music.hardcore_, a collection of their early 7" and EPs. [edit: the reviewer from New York details the history of this album much more accurately than I did, but I stand by the basic sonic assessment.]"
Sean Sine | 10/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time I ever heard 7 Seconds, it was this album that I was listening to. I have since checked out other material by this band and I have to say that to me, Old School is the best release by this band to date. This album is truly one of the best punk rock albums out there. It is exactly as the name suggests - 'Old School', meaning old school style punk. Every song on this album rocks and every song on this album delivers a message of either anti-establishment, anti-jock, anti-government, etc.; it's all there. The attitude/image of 7 Seconds on this album is somewhat different from that of the classical punk theme in that they are anti-drugs & alcohol, and they voice strong opposition against racism; however, this is not your typical straight edge album (like the many 7 Seconds albums that followed after this one). The music is very energetic, very raw and follows true punk rock form. In my opinion, there really aren't many other punk albums out there that match up to the style and sound on this album, it is simply a great punk rock album, a classic.7 Seconds changed in style dramaticaly after this album. Their attitude went sort of in a different direction. Although most of their messages/ideas stayed the same, they took their positive attitude a step further. They went just a little too far in my opinion and became cheesy and boring. Their sound became much different and went from straight edge punk to just hardcore straight edge. I am not a huge fan of 7 Seconds, but I am a huge fan of this particular album. I highly reccomend this one. GET IT!"