The central Pennsylvania town of Wilkes-Barre has the dubious distinction of being Scranton’s slightly less-exciting neighbor. I’ve driven through Wilkes-Barre many times, and my main impression of the place is that everything there looks like rust. But there must be something to Wilkes-Barre. Emo-revival all-stars Title Fight, post-grunge radio-rock stars Breaking Benjamin, and Stereogum’s own young classic rocker Ryan Leas all call the town home. And so does the straight-edge hardcore band One Step Closer.
I don’t know whether One Step Closer are named after the Linkin Park song, but it’s fun to imagine that they are, even if they sound nothing like Linkin Park. One Step Closer make clangy, emotionally wracked hardcore, and their sound reminds me a bit of what was coming out of mid-’80s DC, just before that Revolution Summer moment. One Step Closer released a self-titled EP and a promo tape in 2017, and in the early days of next year, they’ll come out with a new EP called From Me To You. The EP opens with a seething, cathartic rager called “The Reach,” and it’s getting me fired up to hear how the rest of the record will sound. Listen below.
From Me To You is out 1/4 on Triple B, a label that I really wish would start sending me promos.