Step Aside - Reaching Out [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Step Aside

Reaching Out [7-inch] (2011)

Life to Live Records

On Reaching Out, straight edge hard band Step Aside show some real promise exhibited by their mastery of the genre's sound as well as their clearly personal lyrics. Most strikingly, the band has mastered the sound of are '80s NYHC. The music is fast and heavy, but unlike more modern takes on the genre, the feeling underneath isn't washed away by too much downtuning or tough guy posturing. Still, though, while the music is well crafted, there's nothing really here that separates the band from what has been done before. Because they've mastered the sound through what must be genuine appreciation of knowledge of the genre, a few tweaks would make them sound truly unique.

Similarly, the lyrics are well done, if not groundbreaking. Vocalist Josh Andrade frequently seems to reference internal struggle and depression, often asking for help from his internal issues. But, while the lyrics are heartfelt, at times they seem to be too ambiguous to either paint a picture or to identify with, because they can seem to be applied to almost any situation. Interestingly, on the song "Step Aside," the band seems to call out scene tough guys, and maybe even a certain hardcore "gang" and demand that they cease their violent presence in the hardcore scene. Fascinatingly, in lieu of threatening the violent scenegoers with retaliatory violence, the bands wishes, or even conjures, the concept of the unwanted groups simply being blinked out from their area.

Step Aside has mastered their lessons and have cut a reputable set of NYHC crushers. All they need to do now is find the thing that separates them from the group, and they've got a great chance at forming into something unique.