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  • Silent Kids -12.04
  • Terminal Band -12.04
  • Almost Contagious -12.04
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    [ The Seconds ]

    The Seconds Y 5RC records

    The Seconds Y 5RC records Back when I knew Zach Lehrhoff, he was the 16 year old frontman/vocal prodigy in a mostly 20-something band called IT. This was in Bridgewater, NJ in the early 90's. My group (the fabled AKU) played a few shows with them and they were a powerhouse. But some people didn't get Zach's unique vocal style; "annoying" was a frequent comment I heard from spectators.

    Today Zach is still an annoying vocalist... annoying in the most perfect context and best possible way as guitarist/vocalist for the stuttering/sneering, hiccuping/hyper Seconds from NYC. Along with bassist/vocalist Jeannie Kwon and drummer Brian Chase123, this trio rips shit up for 11 songs, 23 minutes straight on their debut release "Y", leaving a first time listener salivating in anticipation for the first opportunity to catch this crew live.

    Devo sans dated syths, Gang of Four w/ lots more humor, Cramps w/o the rockabilly trappings, Liliput w/ tons more chops... however you want to frame it, the Seconds draw from the best of late 70's post punk and inject with it speed and snarl and come across fresh and new. It seems I wasn't the only one who watched Urgh! A Music War too many times a rental; many of the more quality groups in said film can see their legacy furthered by this group.

    Production by Ex-Models' Shahin Motia and Georg Bissen, is unadorned, save for some echo-plex on the vocals. It simply pushes all three instruments up front and pits them in an all-out war for control; sometimes the sonic space becomes too crowded (and plays havoc on my speakers) but the energy and excitement of this warts-and-all document (sloppy group hits, sticks hitting rims) shines thru and gets the listener's blood pumping without fail.

    "Say Hey" should be called "Say Hey We're the Seconds" but people would never say they monkee around. This song is the perfect introduction featuring all three voices and setting the tone for the rest of the album; speed, scream and sneer! "Say Hey, You make me want to Dance" goes the first of many catchy choruses. Indeed!

    "X" uses all three voices in a game of vocal hot potato in 3. "Got Laid" uses a subtle groove (similar to Gang of 4's "Natural's Not In It") and speeds it up to Husker Du levels. "Oh NO It Aint So" boasts a middle section breakdown a la Cramps' "Let's Tear this Damn Place Up"; you can see this section live, being drawn out longer and longer as each voice enters barking out the title over and over to the final buildup.

    "Baby Make That Sound" is another singalong anthem in waiting and vocal spotlight on Mr. Lehrhoff, hormones unchecked. He barks and yelps like John Doe on... I don't know, speed, crack, whatever you get the idea(I hate drugs so I wouldn't know) As his spasms become more and more emphatic, one cannot help but wonder if this is an aural representation of what awaits a potential lover in the throes of fornication with this crazy dude? It brings the album to a premature, um, close.

    My favorite track is the Seconds' cover of Madonna's "Burning Up". This song features fantastic leads by Jeannie Kwon and it could be the one not only to provide the Seconds with a bonafide hit but also lead to its downfall (think 'Gigantic' by the Pixies). You know the story: you can almost hear slimy scenesters and record types whispering in Jeannie's ear about how SHE should be the singer and then photographers start gravitating toward her in the shoots ("Hey fellas, could you step back? How about Jeannie coming foward a little... yeah yeah, that's it, right there") and then resentment builds between her and Zach (who I gather to be the principle songwriter) and the drummer begins hanging out and doing loops for the Wu-Tang Clan and Jeannie starts appearing in Gap Ads alone and Zach ends up reading about the band's breakup in the random notes section of Spin... well I'm getting ahead of myself. Hopefully, the Seconds will learn from the stories of Kim Deal and Tiny Weymouth and keep the egos in check and continue their assault on our senses with a One-for-All, All-for-One attitude.

    Either way, we are definitely in for some exciting music to come from these upstarts!

    Written By: Sir Brian C.