The First Step - Open Hearts and Clear Minds (Cover Artwork)

The First Step

The First Step: Open Hearts and Clear MindsOpen Hearts and Clear Minds (2002)

Reviewer Rating: 0.5

Contributed by: moldymoldy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

After listening to the First Step's album Open Hearts and Clear Minds, I took the first step to the used record store to see how much I could get for this, and then take another first step to the liquor store to try and forget this album. This album was nothing more than generic straight edge hardc.

After listening to the First Step's album Open Hearts and Clear Minds, I took the first step to the used record store to see how much I could get for this, and then take another first step to the liquor store to try and forget this album. This album was nothing more than generic straight edge hardcore that sounds exactly like a cross between Minor Threat and SS Decontrol (both of whom I like) with songs about being straight edge and not liking violence. To me this is just boring, first there is no shred of creativity in the music, I could predict each chord change, drum beat and gang vocal the first time I listened to it. The songs had very predictable topics about being edge, not liking violence and not eating meat. About the only thing on this album I liked was after the 10 songs proper there was a short live set recorded at CBGBs which included a (surprise surprise) Minor Threat cover. It's sad when a live cover is the best thing on your cd. Another thing and this just isn't this band, but in the booklet what's with only giving the lyrics to 5 damn songs. What about the other songs, either include all of them or none of them, or don't make the choruses bold we know that you're going to shout them.

But listening to this disc is not all in vain. I have been inspired to bring a new sub-group to the punk rock scene. I think it will include all the kids who smoke, drink, fuck, do drugs, eat meat, and do what ever else straight edgers don't. At first I thought each group would get their own letter for their hand (i.e. D for drunks, S for smokers) but I quickly realized that could get out of hand for people that do more than one, so I decided to streamline it into two letters GT, which stands for Good Times, since all of the above usually lead to good times. Then when me and my GT crew go to shows, complete with GT drawn all over ourselves and shirts, watches, bags etc, and when see kids who aren't doing any of the above we will beat them up and force them to drink, smoke, fuck no matter how old they are. Then we get a bunch of bands to write painfully similar songs about being GT and we just rock out and refuse to listen to anything else. This will be the best thing ever, who's with me?


People who liked this also liked:
Touché Amoré - ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse [12 inch]The First Step - What We KnowThe Flaming Tsunamis - Fear EverythingTegan and Sara - The ConMunicipal Waste - The Art of PartyingGovernment Warning - No ModerationStreetlight Manifesto - Somewhere in the BetweenSlingshot Dakota - Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours Is the Golden Ghost!We Are the Union - Who We AreAlgernon Cadwallader - Some Kind of Cadwallader

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
higherxtaste (May 17, 2006)

i thought this review was about the music, not just the messages and opinions it gets across.
the ALBUM is great and just goes to show how talented these guys are. the What We Know LP is even better. i suggest you guys look beyond the message at times and enjoy it for what it is, music! sure, their opinions are loud and clear, but in the end, it comes down to the fact that it's just an opinion. this band is full of awesome guys that would never shove their opinion down someone's throat but aren't afraid to voice it. if you took the time to get to know this album and these guys, most of this stuff you would take back in a second.
in conclusion, the music on this album is good, the lyrics are challenging and make you think outside the box.. it exhibits individuality on a very different and unique level.

take another look and don't forget to check out the What We Know Lp!

fallingupwards84 (August 1, 2005)

worst review ever.

score is for the album

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

I don't mind sXe kids who do their own thing, and make that choice on their own AT ALL. If I did then I would be excluding a lot of my friends who completely awesome, however I can't stand drunks that preach to me or wanna kick me out of a party over smoking a bowl. I don't drink, I don't eat red meat, don't give my money to the tobacco companies, and you should not give a shit that I choose the herb. It's not like I'm gunna criticize you over your choices. But whatever, the album actually isn't half bad at all, btw.

Archangel (April 3, 2005)


Anonymous (March 24, 2004)

Fuck man, I'm with you! GT forever...

Anonymous (February 17, 2003)

My arnt you the tough guy, typing in all bold too, man im scared now please dont come and beat me up

FortyMinutesWest (February 17, 2003)

Guess you're a fan of Bold, eh? Eh? Eh? It works on two levels! C'mon!

Anonymous (February 16, 2003)

nice review faggot. Get a clue about hardcore.

Strewtho (February 16, 2003)

good point.

waste_elite (February 15, 2003)

"Drinking is pointless, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's pointless.....it's like playing a video game...sure it's kind of fun and you waste a few hours doing it, but does it have a point? No."

let's use some logic here, meathead. people do fun things because they are... what? fun? there's a concept! FUN! THAT IS THEIR FUCKING POINT, ENTERTAINMENT!

i mean yeah dude, what's the point of going to a show. sure it's fun, but what's the point of it? now if you'll excuse me, i'm gonna go do something contructive like beat off to the sight of myself in the mirror.

waste_elite (February 15, 2003)

christ, who invited the first step crew?

Anonymous (February 15, 2003)

whats all this shit about how it all needs to be "original" and how its too "generic"?? What you're saying is that once one style of music is done, you should just move on and find something else to do? I'm pretty sure this band is just playing a style of music that they like and enjoy playing. The lyrics aren't preachy at all, and in fact there's not a time where any of those dudes have called anyone out for not being straight edge. They have plenty of friends who drink, do drugs, and who arent vegetarian and they dont judge any of them for doing so. These are just 4 guys who like to play hardcore and have fun. They're not trying to make a difference, they just choose to write lyrics about something that means a lot to them and something thats inspired them to be who they are. "What the fuck have you done?"

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

who reviewed this? does this butt nugget listen to saves the gay all day long? man you suck!

this is one of the best bands around right now. it beats all that lame ass shit with kids writing in fuckin live journals like fuckin sissies. these are the kids that need a swift kick in the nuts.

deez nuts bitch.

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

high fives and stage dives, if it ain't broke don't fix it! this 7" is sooo good. watch out for the crew!

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

best band in hardcore right now. THE END.

x x x

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

your taste fuckin sucks!

the first step rules.

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

dude, you like Less Than Jake. enough said. your comments are therefore invalid.

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

sXe is as dumb as Anti-Flag.

Anonymous (February 13, 2003)

Drinking is pointless, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's pointless.....it's like playing a video game...sure it's kind of fun and you waste a few hours doing it, but does it have a point? No. The only difference is that beer can actually fuck you up physically. What's more fun than getting wasted? I don't know......having lots of sex with a hot babe, working out, actually being sober enough to REMEMBER an awesome concert, doing something worth while (like going to the anti-war marches on Saturday), or going for a long walk. I don't see what the big deal is, I used to drink every weekend, it just loses it's edge after a while and it really is pointless. Nothing wrong with it though, if you like it then great, just stating my two cents.

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)


ps, sxe sucks.

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

I'm as straight as the line that you snort up your nose, and I'm as hard as the booze that you swill down your throat.

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

The reviewer is a moron. If you don't like straight edge as a life style and don't enjoy some good ol youthcrew...Why bother listening?? This review is filled with the most ridiculous assumptions and flat out shittalk. Same goes for almost everything posted beneath me....live your fuckin life how you want, but don't go bashing on alternative lifestyles

"a non edger"

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

Straight edge is a PERSONAL choice. As soon as you start to preach it to others, you become just as stupid as the people that tell me that I'll love Ekoostik Hookah if I get stoned.

Personally, I'm straight-edge, but I don't have any problem with people not being straight-edge. Being preachy to me is about the worst thing you can do about just about anything and probably the least punk rock thing I've ever seen in my life. You don't talk to your friends about getting into it. If their interested they'll look into it, if not, let them live their life!


evildeadalive (February 11, 2003)

is it just me, or do the sXe kids on here sound like complete idiots?

waste_elite (February 11, 2003)

"What's the point of drinking? It tastes like shit, it makes you feel shitty (unless your wasted, and you DO feel shitty unless you get laid)"

i don't know about anyone else, but i feel pretty damn good when i'm drunk.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

There is nothing wrong with doing drugs and drinking. NOTHING! But you would be in better condition without them. What's the point of drinking? It tastes like shit, it makes you feel shitty (unless your wasted, and you DO feel shitty unless you get laid). I mean, there's nothing wrong with any of it. I think all of it should be legal (heroin, marijuana, everything) I figure if you wanna do it then why stop you, you're only hurting yourself. I'd rather be homeless than in a dead end job that I hate for the rest of my life, making only enough to survive. I had that problem at one time, but thankfully I finally made enough cash to go to college and pursue my hopes and dreams.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

It's not as easy as you assume. I've been looking for a better job for awhile now, but have had no luck. I also like your little spin on the situation. "Smother it with booze" isn't exactly what I do. I drink a few times a week to have a good time and relax. There is nothing for me to be ashamed of here, there is also nothing that you should be so proud of here. Choosing not to drink isn't especially impressive, if it makes you happy then go for it, otherwise I think drugs and alcohol have their place.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

If your life is in the gutter and your job sucks then CHANGE IT! Don't smother yourself in booze.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

What an original cover.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

Truthfully, I don't really like giving my money to beer and cigarette companies. But, I need something to keep my sanity from having a sucky job and the everyday bullshit of life. Call me weak or whatever, but I can make exceptions for certain things.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

I feel kinda stupid signing this comment board without ever having heard any music by the band, but I just wanted to say that I think whether a person decides to drink, smoke, eat meat, fuck, or anything else is really up to them. I don't think it should bother anyone else. What a person does (or doesn't do) is their choice, and to try to force your opinions would be completely ridiculous. Just take a step back and look at how stupid it makes you look. Live your life, and let these guys live theirs. Chill out. Go get drunk or something.

The_Killings (February 11, 2003)

I really don't think I'd be in better shape. I was a pretty violent guy before I started drinking & smoking.

How am I selling myself out by drinking? I've never preached against it. If anything I'v dedicated my life to mocking people, like yourself, that try to tell me that I'd be more healthy if I quit drinking, smoking and basically havng fun.

Every drink I have proves my point just a little bit more.

FortyMinutesWest (February 11, 2003)

I guess I'm a sell out then.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

I wouldn't say so, I bet you'd be in ten times better shape if you didn't do that shit. And why do it? You're just being a slave for the system. Your selling yourself out everytime you knock one back.But it doesn't matter, I wish all drugs were legal.....it would end alot of the violent crime surrounding them.

The_Killings (February 11, 2003)

I drink, I smoke, I'm in great shape. The only time I run out of breath is when my bong hoot is too big. I also know how to spell poison.

I think calling yourself "Straight Edge" is more of a vice than alcohol could ever be.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

Smoking, Drinking and eating meat lead to good times? Yeah, if you like puking, being fat, out of shape and struggling to breathe. You moron. I do agree with the fucking part though, you gotta have some sex. For me straight edge doesn't mean what most people think it does, it's become some cult mobement and it's annoying. To me, and Ian MacKaye (lol), it's just a healthy way to live, not a fuckin' movement. You can have fun and fuck MUCh hotter chicks if you put down that jack daniels poisen, quit eating that beefy garbage and get i the gym and workout. Fuck man, just use your head, that's what punk's about- using your head. Not sure about this band though, I hate generic shit, even though I love both Minor Threat and many of their followers. I'll have to check it out and see for myself.

The_Killings (February 11, 2003)

Instead of the GT, just draw an O. I've been doing it for a year now.

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