Album Review :: The Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton

ImageFirst off, I’ll say that I have a soft spot for pop punk. I grew up on The Descendents and All, and a good pop punk album can change a shitty mood in about 3 seconds flat. So, with that said, once I heard about this album I was pretty sure I was going to be psyched on it.
 The premise of The Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton is: Stephen Egerton, whose various bands are on hiatus, needs to make music. So, instead of waiting around, he writes some songs, plays all the instruments, and records it all himself. He admits that vocals aren’t his strength, so he calls on some of his punk rock royalty friends to fill in that space. He also passes most of the lyrical duties as well, only authoring one song, “She’s Got Everything”, only co-authoring a few others. It is not only my love for pop punk that drew me to this album, but this idea of collaboration with such a variety of musicians that is not very common in punk rock, immediately intrigued me. The singers that Egerton chose are diverse, yet match the vibe of the music perfectly. This was more of a given with former Descendents and All band mates Milo Aukerman, Scott Reynolds and Chad Price, but singers like Mike Herrera of MxPx and Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio really change their normal vocal style to match Egerton’s music.

So now that you are caught up, this album is phenomenal. The music is hard hitting, powerful and catchy as hell. Egerton knew that with the variety of vocalists there was a danger of a mix tape feel and that the music needed to be the element that tied the album together. He combats that fear by mixing and mastering the album himself (in his new Oklahoma studio, Armstrong Studios).

“Abundance Of Fluff”, track three, is the song that solidifies the album to the listener. The first two tracks draw you in, but when track three starts you are ready to sing along. Track four, “South for the Winter”, carries the listener along, with the perfect blend of melodic singing and emotion straining through hoarse voices. With the music always there to add the extra layer of intensity. Songs like “Funny Face”, “Never Again”, and “Falling Out” could have been candidates for an All album and “On the Avenue” renews my faith in the horrorcore subgenre. “Print on Paper” is the song on the album that I could listen to on repeat and never get tried of; it is catchy, clever, and poignant. The songwriting relationship is really something new, the song departs from the sounds of both artist’s bands. The relationship that the music and the vocalists have on each track on this album is phenomenal, and more importantly, it is natural.

Interpunk.com has also pressed 200 copies of orange vinyl.

Check out Stephen’s website, facebook, and myspace pages.

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