Reno is a city often maligned. Often referred to as a “poor man’s Vegas,” the Northern Nevada town, with a metropolitan population of only about 400,000, has been mocked by everyone from David Sedaris to Amy Schumer, from Seth Meyers to the Muppets. But that semi-regular derision has helped forge an underground music community with underdog perseverance and a strong bond of community throughout the scene.
7Seconds is probably the most famous band ever to come from Reno. The hardcore punk band formed back in 1980 and officially announced their breakup earlier this year. The group’s quick, melodic take on punk rock, along with lyrics preaching unity and tolerance, were a huge influence on two or three generations of musicians in Northern Nevada, Northern California, and throughout the world.
In March, 2018, over the course of just three days, 25 Reno bands showed up at Reno’s Sound Saloon studio, and in less than an hour apiece, each recorded a cover of a 7Seconds song. That’s 25 bands, 25 songs. All those songs are now being released on a double LP collection called Destroy All That Tradition. That title is a lyric from “Walk Together, Rock Together,” arguably 7Seconds’ best-known song, and it’s also a cheeky comment of the whole idea of paying homage.
The project was organized by Clint Neuerburg of the Reno noise rock band Elephant Rifle and prolific Reno musician Chris Fox, whose bands Boss’ Daughter, the Vampirates, and Sucka Punch all appear on the compilation. It’s a diverse set. There’s a nice balance between bands that stick close to the positive hardcore blueprint of 7Seconds—quick rhythms and sing-along hooks—and bands that take the songs far afield in unexpected directions. Among the many highlights: Fall Silent’s metallic rip through “Die Hard,” Hate Recorder’s moody take on “Somebody Help Me Scream,” and Stirr Lightly’s dream pop version of “Walk Together, Rock Together.” There’s also the Sextones’ sitar-laden pop-soul version of “Satyagraha,” Elephant Rifle’s sludgy take on “Anti-Klan,” Slow Wow’s unhinged tear through “We’re Gonna Fight,” and a lot more.
Sales of the compilation will benefit the Holland Project, the all-ages arts organization that embodies 7Seconds’ “rock together” ethos. More than 100 Northern Nevada musicians and engineers worked on the album, and it even features a cover painting by acclaimed Reno painter Ahren Hertel. Preorders are up now, so go reserve a copy and help a great cause! Full band/track listing, below!