Stephen Egerton: Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton

Stephen Egerton: Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton
Punk guitarists do not get a whole lot of credit. Most people think “how much talent does it take to play three chords really fast?” The truth is, punk has evolved quite a bit since The Ramones three chord style. Just ask Stephen Egerton. Egerton is somewhat of a punk icon playing in such high profile acts as Descendents, All, and Massacre Guys. But not being a vocalist, most people took Egerton as just another guy who only knows three chords. Fact is Egerton is a classically trained guitarist. On his solo debut, Egerton employs a myriad of guest vocalist and explores the far reaches of punk along with other genres.
The album will surely garner a fair amount of press simply based on the strength of the guest vocalists. Lending their vocal talents include Tim McIlrath of Rise Against, Chad Price and Scott Reynolds of All, Bill McShane of Ultimate Fakebook, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, Milo Aukerman of Descendents, Mike Herrera of MxPx, Joey Cape of Lagwagon, and Mark Vecchiarelli of Shades Apart among others. But this is a Stephen Egerton album, so should not this be more about the guitar?
The fact is that despite Egerton’s classical training, Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton is for the most part a pop punk record. Some tracks branch out minimally from the pop punk form. “Willie Wicked” features The Things They Carry vocalist, Abe Brennan. The track has a more hardcore edge. It sounds like a combination of SNFU and System of a Down.
“Fire’s Off” features Jon Snodgrass of Drag the River fame. The track has a more alt-country vibe to it. It reminds me of Minutemen or The Meat Puppets.
But for the most part, the album is closer to what Egerton has done in All or Descendents except even poppier. “Print on Paper” features Chris Demakes of Less Than Jake. The track is pop punk that straddles the line between insanely catchy and annoying. Sadly, a good deal of the album’s song straddle that line. In the end, Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton is probably a fine record for pop punk fans but for listeners with more refined tastes hoping for something new from Egerton, they will be sadly disappointed.
Rating: 7.2/10
MP3: Stephen Egerton featuring Chris Demakes “Print on Paper”
Buy: iTunes