Kevin Seconds has had a lengthy career, whether helming the hardcore band 7 Seconds or when he goes solo. Oddly enough, this reviewer hasn’t heard Seconds’ previous work, but is a fan of punk musicians venturing into other genres, similar to what Greg Graffin and Chuck Ragan have done. The bottom line is “Off Stockton” is a solid folk album for both his most diehard of fans and the uninitiated alike.
Right from the opening of the album, it is apparent that “Off Stockton” contains a certain kind of romanticism. Every track paints the picture of real-life scenarios that are all tied together by the emotional weight of Seconds’ lyrics. Take “O Let Me Try,” for example. It is a sentimental track that features his wife Allyson on backing vocals about love, communication, and expressing it properly, and yet there is an underlying note of frustration in the inability to do so properly.
The one thing that is a bit odd is how fast these tracks are. This may be due to Seconds’ punk sensibilities, but there isn’t a song over 4 minutes in length. The majority of the tracks are under 2 minutes, and it’s those short tracks that seem to be over too quickly. “Truth Be Told” is the longest track and feels the most complete; his emotion weaves a wonderful story and the use of the pedal steel guitar and organ helps it to blossom.
“Off Stockton” has many things going right for it and very few things working against it. If you are looking for an album that expresses deep emotion, and where each song feels like a slice of life, you needn’t search any further.
Kevin Seconds ‘Off Stockton’ Rating W W W W