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Stepsonday

Little Light

(One Eleven; US: 3 Jun 2008; UK: Available as import)

Santa Monica rock band Stepsonday is not stepping on anyone’s toes with this record, but it sure does know how to make the most of a situation. The band hits the ground running with a terribly catchy, uplifting “Same Difference” and continues that momentum on the lighter but ragged “Boy and His Balloon” that starts slow but slowly rises. The Turner brothers, Jason (vocals/guitar/bass) and Chad (drums/vocals) are definitely finding their synergy with the short but punchy “In Crowd” that sounds like Weezer if they were inspired by shoegazer rock. But it’s their knack for creating great, highbrow pop melodies is what sets them apart from so many other bands when listening to the gentle, tender and well-crafted “Deep”. The only sour point about the whole record is just how much flow there is and how easily it breezes by with great summer driving tracks like “1234” and the equally strong “Old Man”. If there is one pitfall on the album, it is probably how sullen and average “Don’t Be Afraid” comes off, something that the Rembrandts might have polished off in their sleep. But fortunately it’s the exception to a very steady, pop rock rule which rules most of this album.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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