One Step Closer come from the northeast Pennsylvania town of Wilkes-Barre, and they make a sincere, driven, anthemic version of hardcore that punches me in the heart every time. Last year, One Step Closer released the From Me To You EP, and it was one of my favorite hardcore records of the year. Right now, One Step Closer are working on their full-length debut. Today, they’ve come out with two songs: One absolutely gorgeous new song and one cover of a classic.
The new one is the one that you absolutely need to hear right this fucking second. “Lead To Gray” is a towering three-minute banger, one that combines throat-shred roars with clean vocals in a way that never feels gimmicky or obvious. The band’s guitar sound might be my favorite out there; it’s jagged and sometimes jangly but also kick-to-the-throat direct. And they write real hooks. “Lead To Gray” is the kind of thing that seems almost guaranteed to incite big-room singalongs, and I bet it’s going to kill live. One Step Closer have paired it with a cover of “Broken,” a 1990 song from the New Jersey straight-edge melodic hardcore heroes Turning Point. Check out “Lead To Grey” and the “Broken” cover below.
In other Wilkes-Barre hardcore news, there’s also new music from Choice To Make, another Wilkes-Barre hardcore band that shares members with One Step Closer. Choice To Make have more old-school fist-swinging style, and they just released their debut EP Vicious Existence last week. Stream it below.