If you were privy to my record collection, you would notice a rather large gap in the 7 Seconds section, which starts with Skins, Brains, & Guts, moves through Walk Together and then wholly bypasses their late ‘80s and ‘90s output until their triumphant return to form on Good to Go. Simple reason: their output during that void set a staggeringly wretched standard for faux-U2 suckdom that is matched only by Bad Religion’s mid-‘80s dreams of achieving ELP/prog rock demi-god status and TSOL’s drug-addled attempts at being glam rock heroes. So traumatized was I by that period in 7 Seconds’ lifespan that I remember physically wincing when I pressed play the first time I put Good to Go on the player, but my fears were quickly allayed when the first track came blasting forth and I realized that they had returned to form. This doesn’t mean that I’m not open to experimentation or “growth,” but if you’re gonna push the parameters a bit, just make sure it’s still got some bite to it, y’know? Anyway, I digress. This, their latest, is a continuation of their last, in that the songs remain as lightning quick as in the days of yore and tempered with just the right amount of pop. Given the current political state in this country, surprisingly few songs here address national/world issues, but they do shine a much-needed light on “scene” politics, both praising and encouraging the younger crop of kids and offering a justifiably harsh criticism of the Hot Topic crowd, which makes me wonder, though, if this means we won’t be seeing 7 Seconds shirts on sale there at thirty bucks a pop. I’m all for retrenching the scene in the underground and recapturing that sense of mystery and “danger” it needs so desperately to survive, but if you’re gonna do that, then ALL ties with the corporate punk overground need to be severed, meaning no more Hot Topic, no more records distributed by Columbia, no more Sideonedummy, no more Warped Tour, no more summer festivals sponsored by Vans and the like whatsoever. Take it on, take it back, take it over—I’m right there with you, Kev, if you and the remainder of our contemporaries that are still out there slugging it out in the punk rock world truly are sincere about excising punk/hardcore from the corporate teat it has latched itself onto. I gotta say, I’ve heard grumblings from more than one source that the last two 7 Seconds albums were nothing but lip service intended to retain their punk cred and return to the safety of former glory when that big stab at rockstardom didn’t pan out like it should’ve, but after years of watching people move on to “the real world,” I’m still strangely optimistic enough to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that the sincerity you once wore on your sleeve is still there, bro. But again, I digress. Even if the songs sound a little formulaic at times, it’s still next to impossible to keep one’s fist from shooting straight into the air and letting fly the requisite “whoahs” during damn near every chorus. In short, I remain a fan.