Yet again we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands onto an EP early. This one comes from Stepson, a hardcore punk band from the East Coast.

Stepson – Photo: Adrian Eyre
Bruised, is the first track of Echoes In An Empty Room and it kicks off with a nice little 20 second intro before giving our ears a glimpse at the Hardcore side of Stepson. I would’ve loved for this intro to go a little longer than 1:17, but this is only the start of the EP and we’ve got another 5 tracks to listen to! Bruised is out now though and I recommend you give it a listen before Echoes In An Empty Room is released.
By this stage, you should already know I love to have a favourite track on an album or EP. Stepson found the way to my heart with their second track, Compassion & Growth. I’ve probably listened to this track about 10 times, since we were given the EP, and it’s not hard to work out why. The lyrical flow in this track just makes it so brilliant to listen to and the pitched screams push this track slightly down a brutal path.
Blue takes a different path to Compassion & Growth, seeming to draw influences from pop genres. If you’re not massive on hardcore, then this is the Stepson track for you, it has short bursts of screams that sit in so mutually with the clean vocals. They’ve pulled this track off extremely well and I love that it strays away from that hardcore sound that is underlying in what Stepson produce.
TV starts with a fade-in, getting our ears reading to come back onto the heavy side of Stepson… The lyrics take a sadder approach than the other tracks but in some strange way it only adds to the enjoyment of listening to this track.
Cold Water is the second last track on this EP, it’s another short song, but I think in this case it almost helps make the song as strong as it is. This track comes and goes in a minute and a half and I see it as the follow-up to Blue. I say this because like Blue, it explores a sound that I wouldn’t have expected from Stepson. This song has no screams, and acts as sort of a break from the hardcore sound we’re used to hearing.

I’ve reached the sixth and last track on Echoes In An Empty Room. This Is How It Feels, to me feels like the perfect way to wrap up the EP. If you’re not sure what to expect in this EP, I’d recommend jumping on this track first. It combines the styles you’ll hear on this record into one harmonious song, yet somehow turning into something you’ve never heard before.
Overal, I’m thrilled that we were able to get an early copy of Echoes In An Empty Room. There really is no downside to this EP, unless I want to be really picky and say that I wish Bruised went for 2:17. Stepson have done an incredible job on this EP, proving that every member of this band is talented and want to be out making music.
Echoes In An Empty Room will be available June 11th on Band Camp. Alternatively preorder it at Big Cartel.
※ Liam Barr

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