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.
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// Notes from the Road
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