A Step Behind - This Is What We've Become (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Step Behind

This Is What We've Become (2007)


The artwork on this album is pretty darn cute.

Generally speaking, I'm not the type of guy that believes in damning or praising bands based solely on their genre. In fact, I prefer to think that there are only two types of music: there is the good kind and Bon Jovi. Houston's A Step Behind happens to cite Mr. Bon Jovi amongst their bevy of diverse musical influences. Don't you think it would be reasonable to assume, at the very least, A Step Behind could provide the listener with big hooks and bigger hair? Unfortunately, a few seconds into the first song it becomes devastatingly obvious these guys make one too many trips to the barber shop.

The opening song, "Kicked Our Fate and Killed Desire" seems to deliver on that subtle promise of anthemic and uplifting choruses with the repeated line of "I know we will survive, our lives were on the line, we sing it one more time, where were you?." Throw in some "whoa-oh"s, spoken parts, a fade-out with a string arrangement and you'll be carried off into today's hits and yesterdays classics in no time. The only thing is with all that "whoa" and vague resilience of the chorus, the band seems to have forgotten the meat substitute and potatoes of the song and didn't write much in the way of verses. After that initial rush of artificial sweetener, the band falters with a few attempts at more plaintive material full of melancholy guitar lines and subjects like waiting by a phone. They do, however, pick things up again a bit for all the weekend warriors on "This Could Be Happening." The song shows off qualities that could make the band into a successful pop-rock band one day. There is some decent drum chops displayed, a competent guitar solo and energetic chorus á la the Ataris circa So Long, Astoria.

A Step Behind has given us an EP's worth of well-produced songs with verses and choruses, guitars, drums and some singing. The real shame though, is that more often than not the band fails correctly add up those parts for compelling listening. If the band takes what they happen to do right and expand on it they could end up getting a smash radio hit or two. If this doesn't work out, word on the street is there maybe a drumming position open on the current Bon Jovi tour.