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One Step Closer, “Imagination of Being,” from From Me to You (Triple B, 2019)

I had checked out Wilkes Barre, PA's One Step Closer before, but I suppose they "weren't quite there" yet for my ears at the time. This week, however, after streaming the rightfully-hyped new Magnitude LP, I decided to peruse a few other recent Triple B Records releases that hadn't crossed my path yet, and One Step Closer's latest EP, From Me to You, marks an admirable step forward in terms of songwriting impact.

Rooted in traditional hardcore with an aesthetic that would've fit nicely on New Age Records during the early- to mid-'90s, there's a constant sense of Turning Point-ish melody that keeps things interesting and adds more general color to the material. What's more, they manage to do so without hitting on a semi-"emo" vibe (that would've been fine with me, actually), which helps to maintain an energetic sense of desperation.

Since I'm always bitching about how too few contemporary hardcore bands are exploring the more melodic side of the genre's '90s influence pool, I figured I should take a minute to spread the word here. In my old age I'm finding my interest piqued by fewer and fewer new releases, but this one's a keeper. "The Reach" and "Day Dream" are additional standouts.

Stream From Me to You on Bandcamp or Spotify. I'll have to get off my ass and grab a copy of the 12" one of these days, too... though it already appears to be sold out from several sources!