7 Seconds and the Interrupters

Club Congress

Monday, Nov. 10

It seems fairly incredulous

that a ska-punk band like Los Angeles' the Interrupters would even exist in 2014, let alone have any kind of audience or positive response. But as long as Epitaph Records and its subsidiary Hellcat Records are in business to sign them, there will always be a place for the Interrupters, whose Rancid and No Doubt hybrid is either as good or bad as that combination would sound to you in the first place. To surmise that this quartet was better than Less Than Jake or Save Ferris is to digress, and isn't Hellcat owned by Rancid's rude boy Tim Armstrong anyway?

Still, the Interrupters' G-Rated Gang's-All-Here tropes that touched on solidarity with your friends, solidarity with your family and, uh, hating cops (?) were fun and charming in their own lightweight manner. For every fourth-time removed pickled-skank chant and synchronized dance routine, there was a genuinely visceral moment, like when singer Aimee Interrupter would scream into an echo device with the 'reggae' setting turned all the way up, mimicking those police sirens responding to actual riots during the actual first couple of ska and punk eras.

If the Interrupters were the real life Glee: '90s ska-revival edition, then grizzled hardcore vets 7 Seconds were acting out that time when your dad showed you how to play two-hand touch football and made sure everybody had fun and nobody got hurt. 7 Seconds, who as punk brats in the '80s released some very good records, of which 1985's "Walk Together, Rock Together" wasn't one of them. But it's the title that's relevant here: There wasn't much difference between any of the songs the quartet played, which spanned from their first recordings to their new album—it's a speedy blur of hardcore that sometimes is catchy and at others veering close to metal—but 7 Seconds have never been about music as much as community. Now as they enter AARP-eligible status, they actually are your dad who wants you to have fun and not get hurt, except this time it's in the mosh pit. 7 Seconds remain fairly fun—their statement of intent was summarized in a letter-perfect cover of Sham 69's "If the Kids Are United"—and singer Kevin Seconds came across as sweetly sincere in a short speech about handing punk over to youngsters.

—Joshua Levine,

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